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Jennifer Jason Leigh,
Bev is a downtrodden housewife who's failed her driving test eight times, having only been instructed by her impatient husband Ian. After registering with a driving school, she develops a crush on her instructor, Chris.
In 1920s Ireland, an elderly couple reside over a tired country estate. Living with them are their high-spirited niece, their Oxford student nephew, and married house guests, who are trying to cover up that they are presently homeless. The niece enjoys romantic frolics with a soldier and a hidden guerrilla fighter. All of the principals are thrown into turmoil when one more guest arrives with considerable wit and unwanted advice. Written by
John Sacksteder <email@example.com>
Complex character interactions confusing, but overall effect terrific.
Not everyone is familiar with the unique place of the Anglo-Irish in Ireland, and some of my companions expressed trouble following who was who, and how were they related. It took a while to get past this, I suppose. But the film itself is a compelling story of conflicting loyalties, misunderstood motives, and troublesome times. The juxtaposition of dinner parties and political violence was perfectly done. One of the most interesting "period pieces" I've seen, and of course, it's worth the price just to see Maggie Smith again.
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