Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5. United Kingdom, 1987. Channel Four Films, Euston Films, PfH Ltd.. Screenplay by Simon Gray, based on the novel by J.L. Carr. Cinematography by Kenneth MacMillan. Produced by Kenith Trodd. Music by Howard Blake. Production Design by Leo Austin. Costume Design by Judy Moorcroft. Film Editing by John Victor-Smith.
This mild British drama features powerful acting and a warm, enveloping storyline as it follows three post-World War I characters and their experiences in a small English village. Colin Firth is an artist who has shown up to restore a five centuries-old mural that has been hidden under layers of white paint on a church wall. He befriends a rector’s wife (Natasha Richardson) who visits daily and becomes enchanted with the painting and with the artist himself. They also strike up a friendship with a soldier (Kenneth Branagh) who has come to look for the grave of a church’s patron’s ancestor while also escaping a few personal demons of his own. It’s not exceptional on the whole, but it is very entertaining and the actors do a terrific job keeping you in the story.