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The film centers on four pairs - Frances is a recent widow who wants to get away from Scotland to Australia with her teenage son Alex to escape her memories, arrival of her old mother Elspeth makes her reconsider her decision. Alex approaches his first sexual experience with neighbour girl Nita. Chloe and Lily are two old women who like to attend strangers' funerals and Tom with Sam are two schoolboys who skip school to play on the beach and talk. Written by
This film is one of those small but delicious productions in modern european film industry that makes it worth to continue going to the cinema. It is the film version of a Scottish theatre production, that did run with the same basic cast.
There is no main plot. It is the summing up of four basic stories which are somewhat interwoven, describing the relationships between very different human beings.
The Scottish winter, framing all the story, is almost a character of its own. You can almost sense the ice, the intense coldness around the characters, but you altogether feel the warmth of human emotions.
The actors are all outstanding in their characters. Above all others, Phyllida Law and Emma Thompson (real life mother and daughter) give a very powerful performance, portraying a depressed recent widow and her energetic and controlling mother: really a charming old lady.
The great Alan Rickman's direction is in my opinion a very good job, bringing all the different stories together and making a magnificent choral film.
I eagerly look forward to his next attempt in directorial tasks.
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