Grumpy pensioner Arthur honors his recently deceased wife's passion for performing by joining the unconventional local choir to which she used to belong, a process that helps him build bridges with his estranged son, James.
Paul Andrew Williams
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Paul is a London tube driver with dreams of a cottage in a bee-loud glade. He's told that if his train strikes and kills one more person this month, he'll get a large severance, enough for the cottage. So he offers £1500 to Tommy Cassidy, a down-and-out Irishman, if Tommy will walk in front of Paul's train come Monday. He gives Tommy the cash on Friday. Wanting to ensure that Tommy honors the deal, Paul accompanies a cleaned-up Tommy on his trip (in a new suit and a hired car) to make things right with family he hasn't seen in eight years. Can Tommy, an inveterate gambler, make anything come out right? And what about Paul - can this suicide pact fulfill his dreams? Written by
Maybe it really was a marketing muck-up to put this film forward as a wacky comedy, but having expected that I was actually happier with the moving, provocative and poetic story I got instead. It's a lot more memorable and thus valuable. Colm Meaney and Imelda Staunton, just by looking at each other, convey more about the pains and regrets that life generates than many a more 'serious' or arty film manages despite loftier, often more pretentious ambitions. This is a film that actually acknowledges the human condition and then poses a rather crucial, if usually ignored question about life, and even braves an answer to that question too. How often does this happen? Probably more often in Britain than in Hollywood, so let's be grateful for this, shall we?
In any case, claiming that it's a crass 'comedy about suicide' as some have done is about as accurate as saying The Producers is a comedy about the holocaust. And Tube Driver Union spokespeople: get a life.
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