Little England (2013)

PANTELIS VOULGARIS

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB

Original title:  Mikra Anglia

Greece, 2013.  , .  Screenplay by , based on her novel.  Cinematography by . Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .

The picturesque island of Andros is dubbed “Little England” by the local inhabitants because its affluent citizens create a class structure of snobbery that the less fortunate notice and comment upon.  This economic microcosm also inspires ambition among some families, which is why Orsa is thwarted in her love for Spyros, a poor sailor, when her mother refuses to let her marry him, and instead arranges for her to wed ship captain Nikos.  Time passes, Orsa has a baby with the man she grows to have a genuine affection for, and Spyros returns a newly minted captain and marries Orsa’s sister Moscha.  The two couples living in the same house with their mother can only mean trouble as the years pass and the children grow, but not much dramatic conflict is on display.  The fine period settings and stately actors do little for a stale drama that is far more concerned with the beauty of its tablecloths than for the troubles of its characters; every shot is a gorgeous postcard, but the inane direction has all the actors performing as if they’re in a Telecom commercial, and it demands almost three hours of your time to accomplish very little in its narrative.

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