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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've just watched this haunting movie for the second time, after an interval of several years and having just read the book on which it's based. I feel as though the director,actors, cinematographer took a walk inside my head to pluck the images that lived there as I read the book. Of course, it was those images inside THEIR heads that have made this film the masterpiece that it is...to enrich the heart, restore the soul. Colin Firth brought the character, Tom Birkin, so fully into life, with his sensitivity, conflicts, process of restoration (both as a skilled worker and as a damaged human being) and yearnings one wonders why such roles as this haven't been offered him since. His brooding Mr Darcy in the TV version of "Pride and Prejudice" used some of these talents, but not nearly enough. Kenneth Branagh's fine understated playing of the equally war damaged archaelogist (and a closet homosexual) is amazing and brilliant, considering especially his over-the-top performances in later films. Lovely Natasha Richardson creates just the right tone of controlled longing of the unhappily married Alice Keagh. Jim Carter and the rest of the cast are splendid as well. This is a film to return to again and again for its visual and soulful beauty, simplicity and depth. What an antidote for the juvenile,frentic blockbuster fare we're offered for the most part by the movie "business."
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