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Grief, guilt, and betrayal. In North London, a young mother dotes on her four-year-old son and lives in a modest flat with her husband, a cop in the bomb squad. The Arsenal football team is their religion. On May Day, a major terrorist attack brings tragedy while she is in the arms of a rich reporter who lives over the road. She wishes she were dead. In grief and guilt, she pursues revenge, faces betrayal, experiences delusions, and may be suicidal. Two men seek her affection: the reporter and a colleague of her husband's who imagines caravan camping with her on a beach. In London, the city of the Great Fire and of Hitler's bombardment, is there any way back to life for her?Written by
Natalie Dormer filmed two days, playing the role of Ewan McGregor's girlfriend, but her role ended up on the cutting room floor. Nevertheless, she called it a "great experience". See more »
In the scene where her husband's boss is taking her to the memorial for the dead, her facial cuts are quite healed and well into the scarring stage. But a few minutes later in the scene where she's watching home movies, her facial cuts appear to be freshly scabbed over and quite irritated around the edges. See more »
5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Go...
Mummy you blinked, I won.
Yes you did. Now in you get. Tomorrow we're going to the sea-side.
[narration - boy running on the beach]
So, if I'm going to show you my life, better start here. My boy, in Camber Sands. Why this and why now? I'll come back to that.
A force of nature was what the midwife called him when he came howling into this world four years ago. And he hasn't stopped since.
Me and him spend a lot of time together on ...
[...] See more »
A young beautiful woman (Michelle Williams) is trapped in an empty marriage tucked away in an ugly apartment block in London. Her pride and joy in her grey existence is her 4-year-old son. One day, as the two of them are at the football match, she seduces a slick journalist Jasper (Ewan McGregor) in the local pub. As fate would have it, they are locked in a lovers embrace, with the football match raging on behind them on TV, when the stadium going up in flames with a series of explosions. Her husband and son are both killed in the terrorist attack, leaving her broken and alone.
If you are now thinking that a film about the aftermath of a major terrorist attack from the director of Brigit Jones' Diary sounds like a recipe for disaster, then you are partly right. But it is not bad for the reason you might think. The film is, for the most part, an emotional roller- coaster - you could be crying your way through most of it. But not because of her grieving for her lost family. The bombs are just the beginning - she still has to endure a full load of unlikely events in the hour to come. She understandably loses it along the way as the story becomes so over-dramatised that it is just ridiculous (especially when you run the story back in your head afterwards).
Towards the end she enters a phase of grief hallucination and reconciliation with life. As the movie is neither funny nor exciting, this should have been the route to take all along. Concentrating on the mourning of the young mother, and perhaps even throwing in some guilt towards her semi-estranged husband. Her husband is just gone with his death. He is not missed nor is there any regret for his disappearance. Even for a semi-estranged husband this sounds a little harsh - she did worry about him, after all, so she must have felt something. It is also curious that they have no family, or friends who drop by to comfort her. A lonely marriage must have pushed them into some kind of a social circle, or a hobby, or at least the occasional phone call with their mothers. Was their life really that lonely.
The movie is clearly intended as a pamphlet against terrorism, by showing the human cost at the level of ordinary people. It also takes the time to "explain" the resilience of London in a voice-over. It is a little desperate to save a movie through nationalism, but can actually be fit in here, although it could have been better prepared, by, for instance, by making her a more integral part of London. This is no masterpiece, nor an entertainment jewel, and can easily be missed altogether. A pity, because it does have some potential.
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