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Reviews & Ratings for
Albatross More at IMDbPro »

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28 out of 35 people found the following review useful:

The birth of another British star

Author: pturner1010 from bracknell
6 October 2011

Introducing a new mega-star: Jessica Brown Findlay. Some films are destined to remain in the shadows of the stars they create. Albatross is one of those films.

The story follows Emelia, a rebellious, seductive and intelligent teenager played by Brown Findlay. Taking a job as a cleaner at a guest house, Emelia befriends the teen daughter of the house, begins an affair with the husband and gets scowled at by the wife and mother of the family who live there.

Alternating between comedy and drama, the film has an awkward tone. The writer Tamzin Rafn claims it was written as a comedy but there are only occasional really funny moments. Instead, it is the drama that is more gripping with a range of characters who are trapped in miserable lives in a beautiful but dead-end location. Filmed with a great eye for scenery on the breathtaking coast of the Isle of Man by director of photography Jan Jonaeus, the narrative takes in the kids on the beaches, the family in the guest house and most notably Emelia and new friend Beth. But these disparate people all appear confined and resigned to unfulfilling and disappointing existences.

Emelia's snarky way with words brightens and amuses what could be a depressing film. There are laughs to be had and there is hope for a better life for many of the characters, but the film is dealing with some serious issues like Alzheimer's, suicide and unfulfilled potential. Perhaps director Niall MacCormick saw an opportunity to inject more drama into what could have been a fluffier lightweight British comedy and went for it.

The cast are all excellent, Sebastan Koch all guilty nervous ticks, Julia Ormond neglected, spiteful and probably the saddest character in the story. But Felicity Jones and Jessica Brown Findlay carry the weight of the film and are believable opposites, angel and devil, bookworm and loose cannon. Brown Findlay particularly shines with comic delivery of vicious put-downs but also scenes of more hefty emotional weight. It is the moments spent with Emelia's grand parents that help to explain the actions of this troubled young woman and will keep audiences sympathising with what could have been a one-dimensional typical teen tearaway.

See it for the scenery, the performances and for the drama. Witness the making of a star! Writer Tamzin Rafn and star Jessica Brown Findlay attended a screening and answered questions from the assembled audience on Monday (03/10/11) night. Thanks to LoveFilm as always for another great opportunity to hear from the people involved.

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Albatross:'something that greatly hinders accomplishment'

Author: gradyharp from United States
25 March 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Now and again a quiet little British movie pops up to remind us just how well the Brits know how to mix comedy and compassion. Such is the case with ALBATROSS, a gentle, sensitive tale written by Tazmin Rafn and directed by Niall MacCormick about a social misfit who imposes herself on a family in desperate need of a wakeup call. The film is blessed with a very fine cast (especially the blossoming of young actress Jessica Brown Findlay - remembered for her ongoing impressive role as Lady Sybil in 'Downton Abbey') and for the breathtaking scenery of the Isle of Man. There is comedy here to be sure but here are other lessons about family and friendship and relationships that are importantly placed in perspective.

Cliff House is the Bed and Breakfast run by a dysfunctional family: the bitter mother Joa (Julia Ormond), her writer's block housebound husband Jonathan (Sebastian Koch) who wrote a book Cliff House 10 years ago and nothing since, bookish teenager Beth (Felicity Jones) and young Posy (Katie Overd). Into their lives pops Emelia, a rebellious, seductive and intelligent teenager whose sole claim to fame is her apparent ancestor Arthur Conan Doyle (she dreams of becoming a writer to carry on her legacy). Emelia takes a job as a cleaner at the B&B, befriends Beth - drawing her out of her mousy self perception in to the throes of early adulthood, begins an affair with Jonathan and gets scowled at by Joa. Emelia's only living family (her mother committed suicide recently) are her grandparents - Granny (Hazel Douglas) suffers from Alzheimer's Disease and Grandpa (the always superb actor Peter Vaughan - for whom she holds deep affection and caring.

Beth is due to travel to Oxford for interview and despite the misgivings of Joa and the now lovesick Jonathan, Emelia accompanies Beth to the interview, there discovering the wilds of being raw and naughty. Upon return matters change: Granny dies, Emelia grieves, the affair between Emelia and Jonathan becomes open, and everything must change. The albatross of the title refers to the baggage each character carries, not just Emelia's name legacy The depth of friendships are tested - and survive.

Without exception the cast is first rate - Ormond and Koch are already established stars and Jessica Brown Findlay and Felicity Jones prove they are on their way to become very important actresses. This is a beautiful little film to watch and to think about. It is a first class little Indie.

Grady Harp

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10 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Keep your eye out for Jessica Findlay-Brown, a star in the making.

Author: Jimmy Collins from United States
23 January 2012

Jessica Findlay Brown, who is starting to make a name for herself by shining in Downton Abbey is a truly sensational young actress who people should certainly keep an eye on, give it a few years and she'll be everywhere I suspect. Albatross is a film which kind of reminded me of another British film of late, Tamara Drewe, the plot line of both ate very similar, but this film has a great drama and family aspect to it also, that's not to say it's not funny either because it is. The film starts off somewhat confusing, you don't know where it's headed but it's not long til you get the hang of the direction and you just enjoy the ride, the story is about a social misfit who imposes herself on a family in desperate need of a kick start, she befriends the teenage daughter, wonderfully played by the luminous Felicity Jones, starts a brief affair with the father and comes head to head with the high strung mother. The affair plot line is what reminds me of Tamara Drewe, this is the plot line I found the least interesting but hey the movie has so many great scenes it's hard not to enjoy.

The performances are pretty good all round, Brown and Jones are the standouts though, I did find the Julia Ormond character to be an absolute annoyance, and somehow I think the character would have been different if played by a nicer actress, I'm not saying she's not good but I'd rather see someone else in this role.

This really is Jessica Findlay-Brown's film all the way, she owns every scene she is in, she steals the show all the way through, the film is just give or take, it's not gonna change your life but you aren't going to hate it either, it will sure brighten up your day though. And as I said, keep your eye on Brown, I bet she's the next big thing. :)

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7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Top shelf

Author: woofs from United States
5 June 2012

A fabulous pastry pleases all your senses and leaves you with a bit of chocolate on your lip and wanting more. I gorged on this one. But there's more to be said for this movie. It takes a clever but easily clichéd story line and spins it out so freshly creative it makes your face hurt from smiling. And all the moguls with the money should line up to honor Jessica Brown-Findlay who took a cleverly written part and turned it into an award winning performance. But I must be honest and say that the TR-2 might have influenced me. When I was 16, I lusted for a bright red version on the showroom floor in upstate New York. How much better can you make a movie for a 71 year old incurable romantic who can still remember what lust is all about.

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7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Let The Father Speak

Author: RabbitValleyRebel from United States
30 May 2012

This film depicts a dysfunctional family owning a Bed and Breakfast house in a coastal British town. The father wrote a wildly successful novel many years ago, and the family lives off his early success. He has had writer's block for quite some time since.

His wife resents him and maybe even hates him. Is it because he is still the star and she gave up her acting career to be his wife? What a b-word! She ought to be thankful for whatever good has come their way.

So what if he hasn't done much since his novel? He is still the husband and the dad, and his money afforded a comfortable lifestyle. If there is something about him that his wife and daughter resent, let's here what it is, besides his writer's block. I need a clear explanation.

We do see a glimpse of it late in the film, when he verbalizes the fact that he doesn't really respect his daughter's blandness, so maybe I am overlooking that.

Yes, like other reviewers have stated, that Jessica Brown has talent, and will undoubtedly have some future acting success, or popularity. She pulled off a character with at least two dimensions, and did it well.

Even if his wife wasn't such a "shrew," as they called her during the film, it is hard for a man to resist the attention of a young, adoring woman, as they aptly depict here. A little attention, gives him the self-esteem needed to rouse him out of his funk. I can relate.

This is definitely not a comedy. It is a coming-of-age film first and a mid-life crisis film secondly. Good scenery, poignant interaction between grandparents and granddaughter, and just the right amount of comedy and sex.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

It is likable, watchable, and has a kind of plot...

Author: perkypops from United Kingdom
18 September 2012

There are some characters in this film, there really are, and they are all so very different, and, at the same time, very alike. Emilia, at times quite brilliantly played by Jessica Brown Findlay, is the superficially confident teen who commands the scene and will not be put down easily. Beth, well played by Felicity Jones, is the girl who likes the rebel instinct of Emilia, but is waiting on a place at Oxford. The two girls, and their families, live in a fictitious English south coast town. Beth's parents own a hotel/guest house proceeds from the only book her father has successfully authored. There is much friction between Beth's parents.

The plot develops around the friendship between Emilia and Beth, and then between Emilia and Beth's father, and takes us down a number of diversionary routes until we get to the revelations that make the story tie up its loose ends.

Not entirely satisfactory or convincing as a film but it has some promising acting from its younger stars. Well worth a rental.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A Delightful Drama

Author: atlasmb from United States
11 October 2013

A seaside inn is run the Fischer family, consisting of two daughters and their parents. Their lives are in a rut as they mark time, day to day.

When we first meet Emilia, she is lighting firecrackers and dropping them in a barrel, inciting action by the local police. She is an irreverent 17-year-old who likes to break the rules and shake things up. When she is introduced into the Fischer household, she is like a spark that lights a fuse.

The actions that follow are sometimes predictable, sometimes not. But the result of this volatile situation is what the viewer must wait for.

The film's title is a reference to Coleridge's Albatross; the film reveals how it applies differently to three of the characters. It is up to the viewer to determine in what other ways the title refers to burdens the characters must bear.

Albatross is a delightful film. The story is charming even as it is fraught with dangers. The acting is top notch. I would not change one performer. The background music ranges, appropriately, from whimsical to poignant.

This British film is a drama filled with comedy. And it shows how life's resolutions sometimes come from tragic moments.

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Seventeen year old girl, wears a conservative, repressed wardrobe

Author: at7000 from Florida
3 October 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Summary- Seventeen year old girl, wears a conservative, repressed wardrobe which is indicative of her personality and demeanor.

Said teen, meets a 'rebel without a clue type,' provocatively dressing, teen girl-friend, who is related to Arthur Conan Doyle and wants to be a writer. Said teen girl, much to the chagrin of her mother, and pleasure of her father, adopts a similar slutty wardrobe. Father proceeds to have an affair with slutty friend. Said teen proceeds to have terrible falling out with slutty friend over heretofore mentioned affair.

The "earth shattering ending" involves said teen wearing an "I Put Out" tee-shirt, with a small, female, firefighter beneath that banner. Sad.

I was really disappointed in this film- It had moments and brief sparks, but overall it's an abysmal failure.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A person with a great burden is said to have "an albatross around their neck".

Author: TxMike from Houston, Tx, USA, Earth
16 September 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Thus it is in this story. Jessica Brown Findlay is Emelia, and her last name is Conan Doyle. She fancies herself as the great granddaughter of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of the Sherlock Holmes character. This is her albatross, she expects great things of herself as a writer, but at 17 (actually in her 20s) she seems to be out of sorts, not happy with her writing or where her life is taking her.

She needs to earn a living. Both her parents have died, she stays with her nice older grandparents. So she takes a menial job cleaning rooms at a local inn owned by a writer who once had a famous book some 20 years earlier.

But there she meets the daughter of that family, Felicity Jones (actually in her 20s also) as 17-yr-old Beth, who is a rules- follower, unlike Emelia who knows no rule. They form a bond of sorts which eventually is strained when Emelia flirts with then begins an affair with Beth's author dad. Conveniently for this film, the age of consent in England is 16. Also the Isle of Man, where this was filmed.

So the arc of the story involves Emelia getting the albatross off her neck, and the start was finding out her real last name was Doyle, and not actually related to the famous author.

Interesting and often funny movie. I found it on Netflix streaming movies.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Albatross totally surprised me.

Author: krishna chaitanya from India
30 July 2013

I watched this film without any expectations, in the end, I got exactly what I wanted. Albatross might not be a masterpiece but it certainly has become one of my favorites. I wonder why Comedy isn't added in this film's genre 'cause I found most of the dialogues comical.

As everyone saying, there is no exaggeration about Jessica Brown Findlay's acting, she was adorable and the other characters including 12 year old and old guys acted very fine.

Humans make mistakes but realizing those and not repeating them is the important part. If you find someone feeling very low then you say any random thing just to cheer him up. Similarly, sometimes our parents lie to us too, not with the intention to hurt us but to inspire us and make us discover the hidden talents within. This is what I understood from the film.

So, I give this movie 10 out of 10 'cause I totally loved it.

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