In 1939 Hortense, illegitimate but intelligent and ambitious, is brought up on Jamaica with the family of charismatic, free-thinking Michael, who joins the Air Force when war breaks out and... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Narrator
Terence Frisch ...
Taxi Driver
...
Queenie
...
Gilbert
Roger Sloman ...
Mr. Todd
...
Michael
Glen Campbell ...
Mr. Philip Roberts
...
Miss Jewel
...
Mrs. Ryder
...
Mr. Ryder
Teddy Price ...
Pastor
Avenia Powell ...
Pastor's Wife
...
Winston
Denise Black ...
Aunt Dorothy
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Storyline

In 1939 Hortense, illegitimate but intelligent and ambitious, is brought up on Jamaica with the family of charismatic, free-thinking Michael, who joins the Air Force when war breaks out and goes to England. After the war, Hortense, now a qualified teacher, makes a marriage of convenience to Gilbert Joseph, paying for his passage to England on condition he sends for her. She not only hopes to see Michael again but believes that living in Britain will give her more scope. When she arrives in London in 1948, she is extremely disappointed by the one room in which they must live and the obvious colour prejudice. Queenie, their liberal landlady, is also a woman used to disappointment, marrying decent but dull and sexless Bernard to get her away from the family farm. Whilst Bernard - now presumed missing - was in the Air Force during the war, she first took in lodgers from the armed forces, partly for the company, including Michael, with whom she had sex. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Drama

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Release Date:

6 December 2009 (UK)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Karl Johnson (Arthur) and Benedict Cumberbatch (Bernard) play father and son. In 2015, they both appeared on stage in Hamlet at the Barbican, where Benedict Cumberbatch played Hamlet, and Karl Johnson played the Ghost of Hamlet's father - another father and son pairing. See more »

Connections

Featured in Breakfast: Episode dated 3 December 2009 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Rule Britannia
(uncredited)
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User Reviews

 
A fascinating story, great performances
19 March 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

We here at Indie Friendlie love this kind of feature film: literate, unexpected, and powerful.

We loved the talented ensemble of world-class actors playing original, well-drawn characters with lovely contradictions, making surprising but believable choices.

The film retains its balance as it weaves in and out of characters' lives, while never short-changing any of them.

We must say that Naomi Harris consistently gives powerful performances. See her also in "The First Grader".

Historically fascinating, personal, and top shelf.


7 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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