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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
The film was shot in the small Fife village of Pittenweem, Scotland . The town hall was used for locals to audition for extras, where over 400 turned up. A spoken role was offered on the day to a local called Barry Jardine after director Alan Rickman saw star potential in him. However he turned down the role to play professional football for Glasgow Rangers, who had a big cup game at Hampden park and Jardine scored all three goals in the final to beat rivals Celtic. See more »
First of all, the exquisite beauty of this film is mute evidence of the artistic background of the director, Alan Rickman, who was a graphics designer before he became an actor. The iciness and vastness of the frozen Scottish sea coast made me shiver in summer when I first saw it. The kids' conversation about genitalia was funny, and having had 5 children, I never knew they dropped.
Emma Thompson and her mother had a great interaction.which is so appropriate, as it shows both the love and the friction that goes on between mother and daughter who are so much alike. This is the major story line, with the subtexts occurring between the boys and between the old ladies intent on attending funerals, as they approach their own 'going away party'.
It is an unusually visually attractive film and certainly not a formulaic dialogue. I recommend it to anyone with a brain and an eye for beauty. Alice Copeland Brown
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