All the fuss over her 110th birthday disturbs an ailing Welsh woman's memories of youth: a time of rugged men, sturdy woman, verdant landscapes, and deplorable labor conditions. For all its intended severity the film is incredibly sentimental: a heartfelt but token gesture for worker's (and women's) solidarity, with not a shred of irony or ambiguity to make it persuasive. The heroine endures hardship with unreal fortitude: tending four children, comforting other widows, writing angry letters to local papers (too often quoted out loud) and, yes, even foretelling the future. Viewers might be excused for half expecting her to walk on water as well. Writer director Karl Francis has certainly proved himself (in 'Boy Soldier') capable of much more; any film reducing complex social issues and characters to so much cant isn't worth the celluloid it's printed on.
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