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The Ploughman's Lunch
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Ploughman's Lunch More at IMDbPro »

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15 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Flawed but fascinating

Author: ian_harris from London, England
8 May 2003

I am a huge fan of Richard Eyre's work on stage and think he did a masterful job running the National Theatre for all those years. However, both the movies he has directed that I have seen (this one and Iris) are flawed. I think his style of directing might not suit film. There are several passages of the film that neither progress argument, nor develop characters nor set atmosphere effectively.

I am also a big fan of Ian McEwan's writing. This story is full of interesting material. Some of it could come across better - especially the double crossing in the various love interests and the echo of the Suez crisis therein. This might come down to the screenplay or perhaps the directing again.

But stick with it.

The scene in the pub during which Frank Finlay explains to Jonathan Pryce the origins of the ploughman's lunch is superb. The ghastly hermetically sealed cheese chunks on their plates providing a visual to Finlay's words.

We live in a society where we constantly reinvent the past in our attempts to shape the future as we want it. This is a key lesson in the film on all its many levels - the several love interests, Pryce's dereliction of family duty, the Falklands War and the Suez Crisis.

This is a fascinating piece. All the characters are ghastly, especially Jonathan Pryce's well-crafted central character. The standard of acting is consistently high. Despite the flaws, it is well worth seeing.

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11 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Coldly, faultlessly observed portrait of various very unpleasant bourgeois Thatcher-dominated Brits, involved in the life of the bleak central character, a morally bankrupt journalist.

Author: BOUF
16 March 2000

This is a very cold, well observed multi-layered portrait of a bunch of vile people, all scrambling up and down the greasy pole in the politically bleak bourgeois homeland of Thatcher's Britain at the time of its Falklands War obsession. The central character, an empty, ambitious, morally bankrupt journalist (Jonathan Pryce) is impossible to like or even dislike - just like the film itself. It's like a doctor's accurate diagnosis: you may need to know, but you don't necessarily want to. The photography is beautiful.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Slow, but if you stay with it, it is very fascinating

Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
16 April 2011

The Ploughman's Lunch is a very interesting movie. It is rather slow sometimes, and some of the lost interest ideas could have been a little better developed. But if you do stay with it, it is a fine movie. The movie is very well made, with stylish camera shots without being too fancy and fine location shooting. The direction is very skilled while never flashy, the story is compelling with a superbly staged and written scene in the pub between Jonathan Pryce and Frank Finlay and the writing is superb. The characters are even more fascinating, especially Pryce's. Ghastly but deliberately so. The acting especially from Pryce and Rosemary Harris is uniformly excellent. Overall, a fine and interesting film, that is worth sticking with even with the pace. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Something chilling this way comes

Author: mwesley-200-580249 from United Kingdom
27 November 2014

Totally agree - have been a huge fan of this film since I saw it on Channel 4 in the mid 80's and while it's been many years since I've seen it it lingers in the mind like a cold stain,with the reprehensible character that Jonathan Pryce plays remaining one of the most mesmerising cold and self-serving people ever committed to film - the final shot,without giving it away,is breathtakingly harsh and sums up his persona in one callous masterstroke.

It is also beautifully crafted/shot and scored,with a dark and entrancing mood maintained throughout. I've literally only just found out today it was released on DVD in the UK a couple of years ago so have ordered a copy.

Extraordinary stuff and one of the great movies of the 1980's. Mike Wesley

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4 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Why Isn't Rosemary Harris made a Dame yet?

Author: ( from United States
17 February 2007

That's my question! Rosemary Harris who has appeared on stage, films, and television with great respect, accolades and honors still hasn't received Damehood yet like Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, and yet she is as good and even sometimes better than her contemporary British counterparts. It's one of the reasons I picked up this little film at the drugstore for five dollars. Jonathan Pryce still hasn't been honored yet but I'm sure he will. I could Rosemary Harris in anything. I'm glad that people are recognizing her more since she played the Aunt in Superman but still it's not enough. Rosemary Harris plays Ann, a mature older woman, who has her sights set on Pryce's James Penfield, a troubled journalist. The film is set in the 1980s during the peak of Margaret Thatcher's term as the country's prime minister. I was pleased to see parts of London like Brixton, Brighton, and Norfolk actually be used as locations rather than just saying they were there. The plot is thin but I think Rosemary's BAFTA nominated performance makes up for it anyway. She's still heartbreaking and brilliant.

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