Film screenwriter Jake Armitage and his wife Jo Armitage live in London with six of Jo's eight children, with the two eldest boys at boarding school. The children are spread over Jo's three... See full summary »
Film screenwriter Jake Armitage and his wife Jo Armitage live in London with six of Jo's eight children, with the two eldest boys at boarding school. The children are spread over Jo's three marriages, with only the youngest being Jake's biological child, although he treats them all as his own. Jo left her second husband Giles after meeting Giles' friend Jake, the two who were immediately attracted to each other. Their upper middle class life is much different than Giles and Jo's, who lived in a barn in the English countryside. But Jo is ruminating about her strained marriage to Jake, with issues on both sides. Jo suspects Jake of chronic infidelity, she only confronting him with her suspicions whenever evidence presents itself. And Jo's psychiatrist believes that Jo uses childbirth as a rationale for sex, which he believes she finds vulgar. These issues in combination have placed Jo in a fragile mental state. They both state that they love the other, but neither really seems to like ... Written by
The long tracking shot near end of film (in which camera begins on Jo smoking in bed, then winds through closeups of mementos in her living room) was shot backward; at beginning of shot smoke is going into her cigarette, not out of it. See more »
I love Mortimer's book and Pinter's script follows it closely. Bancroft has always been my favorite actress and I think this is her greatest performance. I'm glad she flew to England and convinced Jack Clayton to hire her. It is no wonder her talent has been compared to Magnani! Finch and Mason are flawless but it is definitely Bancroft's film. She is so convincing it is as though you can read her character's every thought through her facial expressions. She was robbed of the Academy Award. Yootha Joyce is excellent in a bit part during a beauty parlor scene. The actors in this film are all so good that I feel like I am peering into the lives of real people. Anyone who has been in a relationship with someone who has been unfaithful can relate to this film. I love Clayton's use of flashback to tell Jo's story. I think he was an underrated director. The score by Georges Delerue is beautiful and I wish it were available in his cd catalog.
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