Three intertwined stories of lost and unspoken love and the resulting secrets are presented. In one, which begins in 1941 Branagan, Michigan, twenty-one year old Ethel Ann socializes primarily with three male friends, who are all in love with her. She only loves one, Teddy Gordon, their mutual love known within the group. Her parents would never approve of Teddy, the poor country boy, who is building a house for her eventually to be able to show her parents that he is worth something in his love for her. Their relationship is interrupted by the US entry into the war, into which all three men are going into battle. Before their departure, the three men enter into a pact unknown to Ethel Ann. In two, which also takes place in Branagan but in 1991, WWII USAF veteran, septuagenarian Chuck Harris, after an illness, has just passed away. Those that knew him always considered him the reliable one. His death leaves a void in his family as there has always been a distance between his wife and ... Written by
I must hand it to Lord Attenborough who is attempting a chick flick to keep up with the times. Can anyone else attract the level of talent in the film: Christopher Plummer, Shirley Maclaine, Neve Campbell, Mischa Barton? The story has great promise. It opens with the funeral of a young woman's beloved daughter who is delivering her eulogy to a church full of veterans who knew and loved her father. Her mother, on the other hand, is sitting out on the church porch, smoking and nursing a hangover.
What develops from this story shows us a time when this mother was young, lively, and optimistic. She is in love with a young farmer who must go off to war. They always go out with two friends who are the best buds a guy could have.
The movie is also interspersed with a story that takes place in Belfast. You know that at some point, the film will have to knit these two elements together. There are numerous light moments to offset the darker experiences of love and loss during war. Ethel Ann (Maclaine)has loved well and was always loved but she is too self-involved to understand that she has used her own tragedies to punctuate her relationship with her daughter (Campbell).
Some of the younger actors in this are Canadian talent. I hope that this film gives them the exposure that they need to continue making their way up the talent ladder. David Alpay from Slings and Arrows is terrific as is Allan Hawco. I wanted to see more of them and less of Mischa Barton whose acting is wooden at the best of times.
At the Toronto Film Festival screening yesterday, the projector had a hiccup during the sow. Stephen Amell who plays Teddy got onto the stage and had an impromptu Q&A to save the day. It was fascinating to hear how he was cast and what kind of experience an actor has when they work with Richard Attenborough.
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