Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5
United Kingdom, 1984. Goldcrest Films International, National Film Finance Corporation. Screenplay by Julian Mitchell, based on his play. Cinematography by Peter Biziou. Produced by Alan Marshall. Music by Michael Storey. Production Design by Brian Morris. Costume Design by Penny Rose. Film Editing by Gerry Hambling.
Absorbing drama that looks into a fictionalized account of the life of Guy Bennett, an upper crust Brit who became a spy for communist Russia. As he’s being interviewed by a young reporter, Bennett (played extremely well by a young Rupert Everett) reveals in flashback how his life at his posh English school was pointedly improved with his various array of male lovers, none of whom he was ever willing to be quiet about. Things change for him when he meets and falls in love with dreamy Cary Elwes and he realizes that love is something worth fighting for.
His school’s interference with their relationship, and Britain’s sour attitude towards gay relationships in general, eventually make him absolutely unmotivated in being true and faithful to a nation that won’t allow him be who he is. Colin Firth steals scenes with his portrayal of a Marxist-minded student whom Everett can’t really understand but keeps around for fun anyway. Although the screenplay isn’t quite compelling enough, the film is lavishly produced and impeccably acted.
Cannes Film Festival: In Competition