In the Yorkshire countryside, working-class tomboy Mona meets the exotic, pampered Tamsin. Over the summer season, the two young women discover they have much to teach one another, and much to explore together.
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Sergey Bodrov Jr.,
A tale of obsession and deception, and the struggle for love and faith in a world where both seem impossible. The film charts the emotional and physical hothouse effects that bloom one summer for two young women: Mona, behind a spiky exterior, hides an untapped intelligence and a yearning for something beyond the emptiness of her daily life; Tamsin is well-educated, spoiled and cynical. Complete opposites, each is wary of the other's differences when they first meet, but this coolness soon melts into mutual fascination, amusement and attraction. Adding volatility is Mona's older brother Phil, who has renounced his criminal past for religious fervor - which he tries to impose upon his sister. Mona, however, is experiencing her own rapture. "We must never be parted," Tamsin intones to Mona but can Mona completely trust her? Written by
Pavel Pavlikovski directed the bleak, austere 'Last Resort', and was sacked from 'Sylvia' on grounds of having an insufficiently commercial sensitivity.
Now he had made 'My Summer of Love', a nicely observed tale of a teenage lesbian romance. As in 'Last Resort', Russian-born Pavlikovski paints an enticingly skewed picture of Britain that rings true in spite of its aberrence; and gets good performances out of his cast, especially Paddy Considine as the brother of one of the girls, who could certainly have used more screen-time, though his co-stars Nathalie Press and Emily Blunt are also good. The film steers clear of cliché, and has some dryly funny dialogue, but what it lacks is a sense of time as a continuum: it feels like a semi-random sampling of its characters' lives, and although there is a clear plot it's hidden in the background, apparent only later. In some ways, this is also true to life, but it also means that the film remains low-key right up to the moment of its suddenly dramatic conclusion. Pavlikovski also seems surprisingly keen on static location shots (before we see the characters inside of a house, we always see the house from outside),
which jars slightly given the film's general artistic merits. Distinctive, and well-worth watching, 'My Summer of Love' isn't quite a great film; but it is an interesting effort from a director committed to representing life in the ways that Hollywood never does.
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