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The Newlyn School of artists flourished at the beginning of the 20th Century and the film focuses on the wild and bohemian Lamorna Group, which included Alfred Munnings and Laura and Harold Knight. The incendiary anti-Modernist Munnings, now regarded as one of Britain's most sought-after artists, is at the centre of the complex love triangle, involving aspiring artist Florence Carter-Wood and Gilbert Evans, the land agent in charge of the Lamorna Valley estate. True - and deeply moving - the story is played out against the timeless beauty of the Cornish coast, in the approaching shadow of The Great War. Written by
More enjoyable than the relatively low IMDb score would have you believe
I went to this blind, as it were, not having read any reviews on here - I think this is probably the first - nor any of the critic reviews in the papers. I am a little surprised that it is showing so low on the star rating as, for myself and my wife, it was a throughly entertaining evening at the cinema. I knew very little about the Newlyn artistic set before but it would appear to have been as incestuous and fraught with failed and doomed relationships as the Bloomsbury literary group of a couple of decades later. Enter Florence, fresh from an overbearing father in London, to visit her brother who was already part of the set. Her beauty turns more than a few heads and A.J.Munnings, a wild and poetry-spouting bohemian, persuades her to sit as a model - and attempts to teach her the rudiments of drawing. Gilbert, in some ways the major-domo of the group but not an artist himself, also falls for Florence but she sees in him many of the traits of her strait-laced father and when Munnings proposes to her she accepts. Tragedy, as we will have garnered from what has gone before, will inevitably follow. The photography and cinematography is a pleasure to the eye and the producer has taken pains to get the period correct. Where it slightly falls down is in the character of Florence who, I have since learnt, was already unsettled and a depressive before she arrived at Lamorna. This would account for her later actions but we get no sense of her instability in the first half of the film. There may be an over-emphasis on "all down the pub for a jolly good drink and a sing-along and pay the landlord with a quick 10 second sketch for the bill" but overall we felt sufficiently interested in the history portrayed by the movie to do some subsequent research on the real characters portrayed.
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