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A man released from jail, where he had served time for doctoring the books of a gangster, has to go into hiding from the gangster's men. He moves into a Dublin boarding house run by a woman and her timid daughter. The timid woman immediately takes a shine to the new boarder and to his train sets, which they each use as an escape from reality. However, her mother doesn't like their relationship and they both are chased by the gangsters. Written by
John Sacksteder <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I went to see this 1999 Palm Springs International Film Festival offering the night of it's U.S. Premiere, January 16th. at the Annenberg Theatre in Palm Springs. I must confess, I went mainly to see Brenda Blethyn. I was not disappointed, as this proved to be yet another in a series of wonderful performances by this brilliant actress.
Like a school child, I found myself turning often during the screening to look in the direction of where Ms. Blethyn was sitting (three seats over), just to see if she was as enthralled with her own on-screen presence as I was. Sadly, I witnessed no such self-indulgent behavior on her part, and I never really expected to. What I did see was a handsome woman, almost timid in appearance, sitting and enjoying a movie with the rest of us; all so contrary, at least in my mind, to her on-screen persona.
A chain of events draws Blethyn and Hurt together into a love affair which is deepened by each in a mutual need to escape the past. The fragile story line takes it's toll here, resulting in a rather lacklustre presentation. This is not to say that the film isn't in itself an enjoyable little journey. It does have its moments where genuine acting abilty and some beautiful scenery carry what otherwise might be a heavy load.
Mr. Hurt's usual vitality appears to be on the decline. It is also difficult to view him as a mere love interest after the strength of character in so many of his other varied roles of the past...
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