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My Summer of Love (2004)

R | | Drama, Romance | 1 July 2005 (USA)
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In the Yorkshire countryside, working-class tomboy Mona meets the exotic, pampered Tamsin. Over the summer season, the two young women discover they have much to teach one another, and much to explore together.

Director:

Pawel Pawlikowski

Writers:

Helen Cross (novel), Pawel Pawlikowski | 1 more credit »
9 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Natalie Press ... Mona
Emily Blunt ... Tamsin
Paddy Considine ... Phil
Dean Andrews ... Ricky
Michelle Byrne Michelle Byrne ... Ricky's Wife
Paul Antony-Barber ... Tamsin's Father
Lynette Edwards Lynette Edwards ... Tamsin's Mother
Kathryn Sumner Kathryn Sumner ... Sadie
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Storyline

A tale of obsession and deception, and the struggle for love and faith in a world where both seem impossible. The film charts the emotional and physical hothouse effects that bloom one summer for two young women: Mona, behind a spiky exterior, hides an untapped intelligence and a yearning for something beyond the emptiness of her daily life; Tamsin is well-educated, spoiled and cynical. Complete opposites, each is wary of the other's differences when they first meet, but this coolness soon melts into mutual fascination, amusement and attraction. Adding volatility is Mona's older brother Phil, who has renounced his criminal past for religious fervor - which he tries to impose upon his sister. Mona, however, is experiencing her own rapture. "We must never be parted," Tamsin intones to Mona but can Mona completely trust her? Written by Focus Features

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The most dangerous thing to want is more.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality, language and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 July 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mi verano de amor See more »

Filming Locations:

West Yorkshire, England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

GBP1,700,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$90,022, 19 June 2005

Gross USA:

$1,000,915

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,766,976
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A lot of scenes and dialogue were improvised whilst shooting, with a lot of participation from the actors. The scene in which Mona draws a portrait of Tamsin on the wall of her room was entirely improvised - during Pawlikowski's traveling together with Press, he discovered that she used to do a lot of drawing while she was thinking, so he decided to integrate it into the movie and made a scene out of it. See more »

Quotes

Tamsin: How'd he shag you? I mean... horribly?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Uphill for Jesus (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Tres Caravelas
Written by Augusto Algueró (as Dasca Alguero) and Santa Guardia
Performed by Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso
Licensed courtesy of Universal Music
Copyright Warner Chappell Music Publishing Ltd
Used by kind permission
See more »

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User Reviews

A Short, Not Particularly Hot Summer
18 November 2005 | by aliasanythingyouwantSee all my reviews

My Summer of Love is clearly meant to be provocative, sexy and a little dangerous, a story of amour fou, but it never registers in a way that really makes you sit up and take notice. Its most striking quality is the visual; its images are beautifully lit and brightly colored, its heroines coming across like the two most luscious Seventeen Magazine cover girls you ever saw. Beyond this, though, the film is strictly pedestrian, a teasing, somewhat low-keyed delineation of a love affair that doesn't have a chance in hell.

The movie is set in a dreadfully quaint British hamlet tucked into a picturesque valley, the kind of place where nothing ever happens, where boredom begins crushing the restless like the gravity on Jupiter. Mona (Nathalie Press), a red-head who looks like she could be Cate Blanchett's younger sister, lives here with her brother Phil (Paddy Considine), an ex-con; they used to run a pub, The Swan, but Phil has been on a Jesus kick since getting out of jail, and has decided to convert the place into a temple for him and his bible-thumping friends. Out on the countryside Mona meets Tamsin (Emily Blunt), who summers in a huge vine-encrusted manor-house with her wealthy parents. Tamsin is just as bored as Mona is; the two start hanging out together, casually, Tamsin teaching Mona about Nietzsche and Edith Piaf, and Mona showing Tamsin her favorite places out in the woods, but their relationship gets progressively more serious, and weirder, until reality threatens to intervene.

Director Pawil Pawlikowski knows what his movie is about, knows who his characters are and how they feel about each other, but is never able to put all this across with any real conviction. The movie looks fantastic, and is structured well, and has good actors in it who seem to know their parts, but it somehow never adds up to anything. The material just seems so damn familiar; the whole movie gives you a mild case of deja vu. Mona and Tamsin could easily be the heroines of Peter Jackson's Heavenly Creatures, a movie that takes you deep inside a strange, doomed relationship, much deeper than My Summer of Love with its fashion-spread visuals, its lukewarm character dynamic. Heavenly Creatures benefited greatly from Jackson's manic direction, his ability to visualize, strikingly, the inner-lives of his characters, and give the whole thing a steamrolling narrative momentum. My Summer of Love is much more laid-back than this; it doesn't have that kind of forward push, and doesn't have that kind of heat. It seems to want to be hallucinatory - there are a few crazy angles in it, and moments of dreaminess - but like everything else in the picture this hallucinogenic quality never gets beyond the nascent stage, never comes to fruition.

The two lead actresses, Nathalie Press and Emily Blunt, are a pair of interesting physical specimens at least, and project a certain oddness that the director never manages to pick up and run with. The girl who plays Tamsin, Blunt, has these big, druggy eyes, and a fabulous body which she displays without a hint of self-consciousness; Tamsin is spoiled to the point where nothing impresses her anymore, where other people are just play-things, and Blunt is able to convey the right unimpressed, conniving, weirdly watchful quality. The other lead, Press, has a slightly feral thing going on, but is cursed by a face that isn't very open to the camera. The movie is supposed to be all about this untamed passion, this sense of two lonely souls finding each other, but you never feel much of this alleged turmoil, largely because Press is such a veiled actress, and doesn't generate the kind of dynamic with Blunt that would really get things steamed up. We never get pulled that deep into the relationship between Mona and Tamsin, never get very far beyond their surface emotions, their sexual curiosity and general boredom at life. The movie is solidly-made but irrelevant.


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