Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
United Kingdom, 2003. BBC Films, Free Range Films, Renaissance Films. Screenplay by Hanif Kureishi. Cinematography by Alwin H. Kuchler. Produced by Kevin Loader. Music by Jeremy Sams. Production Design by Mark Tildesley. Costume Design by Natalie Ward. Film Editing by Nicolas Gaster. Toronto International Film Festival 2003.
Another magnificent script from Hanif Kureishi (My Beautiful Laundrette) that champions the sex-life of the constantly marginalized. A sixty year-old woman (Anne Reid) faces the recent death of her husband with the feeling that she’s not ready to grow old. Unable to stay in her suburban home alone, she moves to the big city of London to stay with her daughter, while frequently making visits to the under-renovation home of her wealthy son (Steven Mackintosh). The man in charge of the improvements to the house is her daughter’s boyfriend (Daniel Craig), a man with whom Reid begins a friendship that turns into a sexual affair. Reid has all the most important considerations of her life before her when she realizes that her daughter might find out about her betrayal, and that Craig may not be as stable as she at first thought. Intelligently directed by Roger Michell (Notting Hill), this beautiful film is emboldened by Reid’s fantastic performance and complete lack of fear from the emotional vulnerability she exposes in her weightier scenes. The film was considered shocking and controversial upon its original release, and like Paul Cox’s Innocence only serves to show how ageist audiences are if they think that watching old people have sex is immoral (when will you be ready to throw in the towel?) Thankfully, Anne Reid hasn’t given up the ghost quite just yet, and watching this film is an immensely satisfying experience.