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Gareth Hale ...
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Craig Wright ...
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10 June 2007 (UK)  »

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Reasonably good film but needed to really have a clearer aim and then go for it
12 July 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

In Cheltenham parts of the year are dominated by the races – with 250,000 coming to the town for the Gold Cup festival and other races. With nowhere near enough in the way of hotels, homes are opened up as bed & breakfasts to accommodate them. One such house belongs to Gwen and Cyril, who this year have a group of five young men staying with them.

A reasonably interesting film this one but perhaps not as strong as the makers think it is. At an early stage I though the film was going to go one of two ways, either be a tightly edited collection of observations of how the town changes during the Gold Cup or focus on one or two characters who are entertaining enough to carry the film regards of what they are doing. In the end it turned out to do a little bit of both, with the lion's share spent with Gwen and Cyril and only a few asides to Liz, taxi drivers, the boys and a couple that owns a gallery in the town.

The approach is not totally convincing and it left me wondering what the aim was. Although the couple with the B&B were slightly eccentric, they were not anywhere near crazy enough to be worth watching in their own right. At times Gwen's overly excitable nature provides value but mostly the film doesn't really follow through on her or them. With this in mind it fills out the rest of the show with contributions from others that don't add a huge amount to the film. My preference would have been to follow up fully with one or the other aspect because I do think either would have been more successful than seemingly going down the middle of a road. Considering the couple were not that great a character set, I think it would have been better being a tight overview of how the influx affects many people and trades in the town.

As it is though, the film is only reasonably interesting but I did find it hard to shake off the feeling that it could have been better if someone had sat down and had a solid vision of what they are going to make this film do.


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