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Five centuries ago a mural was created in a country church in the north of England and then hidden under layers of white paint. Looking at it again will be a distraction, the Rev. Mr. Keach tells WWI veteran Tom Birken who will spend a month in the country restoring the mural. Another veteran, James Moon, is looking for the grave of an ancestor of the patroness of the church who fought in the Crusades. The rector's wife, Alice, comes to see the mural and later visits Birken's bell tower abode, bringing a basket of apples. Will she open the book in which he has pressed the yellow rose she gave him earlier? Written by
Dale O'Connor <email@example.com>
I think this is the most-watched movie in my collection. Its strong passions are beautifully understated by the entire ensemble, which is the thing that I appreciate most in this film. All the cast are excellent, including the children (and I must add a special appreciation for Jim Carter, who has played opposite Firth in at least two other films that I know of), but this is an absolute tour de force for both Colin Firth and Kenneth Branagh. The viewer seems to share the pain and humiliation borne by the sufferers of "shell shock". Their encounters with the joy and grief inherent in the life and people of a small Yorkshire village are both poignant and humorous.
The slow pace enriches the character development and story. It mirrors the patient process of both leading characters' pursuits: Firth's character uncovers a medieval church mural slowly and carefully, as Branagh's seeks and uncovers a mysterious grave. Both work with an audience of curious local villagers by day, and wrestle with their personal demons by night. Slowly new bittersweet relationships develop as the summer progresses. I pity the impatient of this world who can't focus their attention long enough to take in or appreciate the rich content of the performances, the subtle direction, the beauty of both the cinematography and the music.
This movie is a gentle and uplifting experience each time it is viewed! A movie to be savored. I highly recommend it!
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