In other news, nice things said by MysticDollarRedemption:
Quite a curious one. Part of me was bored by the domesticity of it all, but the domesticity was probably also my greatest appeal to this film. Sometimes it did feel like an extended episode of Emmerdale, which is not good, but the acting is pretty great, especially from Danny Huston (The Constant Gardener), and Jennifer Ehle (BBC’s Pride & Prejudice.) She gets my nod for Best Actress of the year so far, and I thought she was very “Streep-like” in her performance. So overall, potentially mediocre tale, good performances. The ending was quite satisfying too. B.
Patrick Peters' full Empire review is now available:
Plot: The grown-up children of a middle class family can't forgive their parents for the family decisions they made when they were younger.
Review: An oppressive air of exacting care hangs over Dan Wilde’s already stifling domestic melodrama. Yet it perfectly suits this country house tale of parents who blithely confuse their own contentment with doing the best for their children.
The flashbacking action revolves around a prodigal son returning for the 21st birthday party being thrown by the mother he has never forgiven for re-marrying, and the childhood sequences, in which widow Jennifer Ehle hastily replaces short-fused Danny Huston with smarmily decent Patrick Baladi, are delicately paced to suggest the chagrined resentment of her spoilt kids. A subplot involving grasping aunt Trudie Styler and her niece, Amelia Warner, adds to the satisfyingly distrustful atmosphere.
Verdict: This is maybe too meticulous and manipulative for such a slender storyline, but the stifling atmosphere induced by selfish motives and repressed resentments is well sustained.