THERE WAS ONLY ONE WAY TO describe him and that would be surly. You hear that word and imagine it refers to some gruff, mean-spirited man. I know it could also be a woman but I mostly have heard males being described this way. In any case, who I am referring to is a little boy. I know what you are thinking; how could a young child act like this already? Well I really do not have an answer for you. The only thing I could come up with is the child has a defiant personality. You may be familiar with such a child; whatever you ask or tell them they always will do the opposite. The boy I described earlier was such a child. No matter what you wanted him to do he would always do the opposite. If you asked him to tie his shoe, he would say no. If you asked him to smile for a photo, he would look away or stare blankly at the camera. It was quite annoying to say the least. At some point the child’s parents started saying the opposite thing they wanted to happen, so the boy would essentially do want they originally wanted him to do. I agree it was a bit twisted. SO YOU SEE THIS IS WHY I said there has to be some type of defiant issue a/k/a child/parent dynamics. Now I was not privy to the details about what took place behind closed doors; but I had to assume there had to be in some form an issue of dominance. Speaking about my childhood years, predominantly the teenage years, I kept my hair long for years just because I was constantly being told to cut my hair. I liked my hair but the reason being used for me to cut my hair was that it would look better; better for who I would reply. Maybe everyone goes through a stage growing up where they want to start to exert some independence. I totally understand it; but at some point, when do these remarks or should I say suggestions begin to be a power struggle? Can you imagine being told at say 30 years of age to wear your hair differently or change your makeup because the person would prefer you do it that way? I feel it is a test of dominance and if you want to see what I mean, then get ready to watch it in action in this film festival nominated drama. LIVING AT HOME AND FEELING like she was being taken for granted laid the groundwork for Moll, played by Jessie Buckley (War & Peace-TV mini-series, Rosamund Pilcher’s Shades of Love-TV series), to quickly become enamored with the recent stranger who came to town, who the citizens thought was a murderer. With Johnny Flynn (Clouds of Sils Maria, Crusade of Jeans) as Pascal Renouf, Geraldine James (Sherlock Holmes franchise, Calendar Girls) as Hilary Huntington, Trystan Gravelle (Anonymous, One Chance) as Clifford and Shannon Tarbet (A Promise, Virtuoso-TV movie) as Polly; the story took a little time to sink in with me. I will say I thought the acting was excellent in an intense way. Jessie and Geraldine really stood out for me. The story was this twisted suspense that drew me in by its uneasy feeling script. There were unexpected twists in the story that just made me enjoy this movie more. I also thought the writer did an excellent job of creating an atmosphere of doubt; both in the characters and viewers. One would be hard pressed not to place themselves in such a situation. This really was a fresh, thrill ride of a picture that was worth watching even if someone told you not to go see it.
On the side of my neighbor’s house are 2 vines that have been there since I moved into my place. They started out small and separate from each other, barely poking out of the ground. As the years passed the vines grew, inching their way up the bricked wall. Then one year the two vines crossed paths, suddenly and unexpectedly. It was as if they went on a date where they shared stories about themselves. From that first contact the two vines were inseparable as their leaves multiplied into a growing family. The bricks became less visible the more the couple grew old. And I do mean couple since they took care of each other whether it was a stern icy wind trying to knock them off the side of the house or intense hot sunlight turning their leaves brown and dry. The two vines supported each other with affection and kindness. They were my elderly couple living right next door and they represented the same qualities that I believed should be in every loving relationship. I have mentioned previously my ideal description of two people who are together. They stand shoulder to shoulder supporting each other through good and bad times. Each one encourages the other, loving them unconditionally with honesty and respect. This type of groundwork allows the relationship to be strong, so any of the hardships that life throws their way can be handled with dignity and courage. In turn this makes for a solid and committed relationship. I have seen such relationships besides those that appeared the same until a secret revealed a crack of doubt. SOON to celebrate his 45th wedding anniversary Geoff Mercer, played by Tom Courtenay (Quartet, Doctor Zhivago), received news that a woman he had a relationship with years ago was found frozen in the Swiss Alps. The news not only had an affect on him but on his wife Kate, played by Charlotte Rampling (Melancholia, The Duchess). This film festival winning, Oscar nominated drama was an ideal showcase for Charlotte and Tom to flourish with their acting abilities. With Geraldine James (Sherlock Holmes franchise, Gandhi) as part of the cast playing Lena, this was a movie that did not have much action taking place on the outside; the story was more internalized by the characters, think of it as being more cerebral. Not only did I feel the direction was beautiful, I thought the cinematography was wonderful. Certain shots were held longer so the viewer could watch the characters act without speaking a word. This was what I consider an adult film because the story dealt with issues that affect a more mature crowd. Charlotte and Tom truly were brilliant in their roles; for all things considered they were this couple who were about to celebrate their anniversary. I felt I had known them as long as those 2 vines on my neighbor’s house, even with all those thorns and leaves that have weathered storms.
3 1/4 stars