|Index||7 reviews in total|
Very funny and ultimately very moving portrait of long-lost sisters reuniting. Throw in dysfunctional families, daytime tv shows and pseudo-glamour "a la" California and you find yourself thoroughly engaged in this gently-paced made for tv movie. Julie Walters is superb, Victoria Wood delivers a surprisingly subtle performance, and Celia Imrie and Thora Hird are hilarious in their slightly eccentric roles. Don't miss this one!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Unlike some of the other people who have commented I don't find this
side-splitingly funny. That's not to put it down, and it is very funny
in parts, but Victoria Wood fans all know that Vic can pack in more JPH
(jokes per hour) than most comedy writers put in a 13 part series. But
to me this has a dark and poignant side that I've not seen in her other
Of particular note is Thora Hirds' character, with her subtle manipulation and very cruel treatment of her son, (played by Duncan Preston) I found this quite chilling. As always with Victoria the dialogue is spot on but the kind of abuse that this 'its for your own good' mother is indulging in is written so well, and played so well by Thora Hird it leaves a lasting mark.
In some respects this is the best thing Victoria Wood has ever done, she is just so talented in so may different ways: she can parody almost anything and that's wonderful but wait she does drama as well. Lets have more like this please.
I adore this film. Sometimes I've found Victoria Wood's work too
female-oriented, but this is just outstanding, bittersweet entertainment
with a wonderful cast and virtually faultless script.
The premise is that two sisters were separated at a young age and totally lost touch. Now, 25 years on, the older one, Pat (Julie Walters), has fought her way to the world of American soaps, and achieved international fame and a huge fortune. Margaret (Wood), though, hasn't fared as well and works in a motorway cafe, lives in a bed-sit and has a faltering relationship with an illiterate mummy's boy. All fairly grim.
They are reunited unexpectedly on a TV show called Magic Moments, and neither is ecstatic about each others' company. Pat especially is furious and scared by the unwelcome nostalgia, and is extremely cruel about her dowdy sister. However, they slowly develop a bond as a common mission to find the mother who abandoned them and forced them apart unites them.
The characters are beautifully drawn, especially the late Thora Hird as the over-bearing, interfering mother of Margaret's decent boyfriend Jim. Wood and Walters are fantastic, and have worked together so often that their rapport comes naturally. Celia Imrie and Duncan Preston, both regular features of Victoria Wood's work, are excellent in support.
I can't think of many more moving British comedy-dramas than this one, which is so cleverly written performed with such class and enthusiasm. There are loads of laughs and moments of pathos, and the ending leaves you with exactly the kind of feel-good buzz you want. Superb.
Thoroughly enjoyable, classic Victoria Wood. This woman is extremely
talented. I have long enjoyed her stand-up comedy shows on the TV, and
her half hour skits. She is surrounded by a wealth of talent in her
circle of friends as well, with most of them turning up in her work.
Celia Imrie is a favourite and in this production plays an enchanting,
somewhat dithery, pregnant PA to Julie Walters Soap Icon.
Anne Reid is another VW regular along with Duncan Preston, these both had marvellous roles. Julie Walters does what she does well and has done before in a Victoria Wood production, the VIP star who must have all the adoration and accolade due her. When she and the frumpy frizz haired Margaret meet on live TV it is not an event welcomed overly much by either. Pat wants to send Margaret home, and indeed Margaret wants to go back to her roadside café and mates, but events are taken out of their hands and they must spend the next few days together during which time they get reacquainted.
The side issues are Margarets relationship with Jim her illiterate boyfriend who still lives very much under the thumb of his mother (Thora Hird) and Pat and Margarets mother who needs to be found by them before the press catch up with her. Throw in Celia Imrie and her hormonal aberrations and it is a feast of fun. Victoria Wood had written Celia Imrie into the script and then found out she was pregnant so changed the dialogue accordingly.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Margaret is a down to Earth Northern Waitress, she goes to a live stage
show, Magic Moments, where she is surprised to be reunited as the long
lost sister of the glamorous queen of soap Pat. Pat is naturally
devastated to be associated with a woman who's hair you could go trick
or treating in. The pair go on a journey of discovery, family secrets
are unearthed, and bridges are built.
I remember the Screen one and Screen two dramas quite fondly, some were hard hitting, some were packed with tense drama, some were a bit slow, then came Pat and Margaret. To this day, one of my favourite one off dramas, it managed to be sensationally funny, moving, heartwarming, beautifully acted, it was a true forgotten gem.
Gloriously performed, Victoria and Julie are one of the finest acting duos I can think of (and I don't just mean comedy,) I wish the pair would do more work like this. Celia Imrie, Duncan Preston and Thora Hird are all just magical, they combine wonderfully to produce laughs and tears. Hird is so subtly nasty in her treatment of Jim.
Thora Hird delivers that magical line 'not on the eiderdown.'
I absolutely adore this movie. It's Wood and Walters at their very very best. The chemistry, the flow, the timing, it's perfection pure and simple. As famous Hollywood soap actress Pat flies in to the UK from LA to promote her autobiography on a TV show, little does she know that the producers have a surprise for her. Among the studio audience watching the taping of the show is a group of motorway service staff who have hired a coach to enjoy a day out. As Pat waits in the wings for the presenter to introduce her, she is horrified to discover that instead of discussing her book, a family reunion is taking place instead as Pat's long forgotten sister Margaret is announced as being an audience member. With both sisters stunned at the announcement Pat goes into full professional mode and comes out smiling, arms open to hug Margaret. The moment the cameras stop rolling it's another story. She doesn't want to know her, or speak to her and rejects her totally. Fate plays a hand as the sisters are forced to work together to find their dreadful mother Vera who abandoned them as young girls, when a nosy journalist keen for a bit of scandal starts digging into their backgrounds ! The usual players one associates with a Wood production are all here. The fabulous Celia Imrie, Duncan Preston, Ann Reid are wonderful with Thora Hird in particular deserving of praise for her role as the odious mother of Margaret's boyfriend Jim. Heartily recommend to anyone who has yet to see this. A modern up to date remake if done well could be a huge success such is the strength and excellence of the story.
An utterly charming, moving and beautifully written piece about
middle-aged women - how unusual. Middle aged women are largely ignored
in TV and film today, in favour for the young supposedly prettier
generation. Yet here is a play written by a woman for women and was
such a big hit when first screened on the BBC in 1994 that it makes you
realise that yes TV execs, people do want to watch women! Chauvinism in
TV and film is a much discussed matter but that aside, this is really
is a beautiful play with terrific wit and some fine performances.
Walters, somewhat of a caricature in recent years, displays the same magnetism and coming timing that recalled Educating Rita and Wood, though not a natural actress, is perfectly competent. Typically hilarious support from Thora Hird but also I loved Stella, a completely believable performance by Deborah Grant.
Whilst film makers and TV execs seem to only get excited over stupid super heroes and police shows, this is an absolute rose amongst many thorns.
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