7.4/10
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7 user 4 critic

Small Island 

A gentle Jamaican woman reunited with her husband in post-World War II London encounters both racism and homesickness as she adjusts to her new life.
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1  
2010  
5 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Naomie Harris ...  Hortense 2 episodes, 2009
Hugh Quarshie ...  Narrator 2 episodes, 2009
Ruth Wilson ...  Queenie 2 episodes, 2009
David Oyelowo ...  Gilbert 2 episodes, 2009
Roger Sloman ...  Mr. Todd 2 episodes, 2009
Ashley Walters ...  Michael 2 episodes, 2009
Shaun Parkes ...  Winston 2 episodes, 2009
Benedict Cumberbatch ...  Bernard 2 episodes, 2009
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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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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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)
Music by Thomas Augustine Arne
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User Reviews

 
A fascinating story, great performances
19 March 2012 | by byrontully2000See 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.


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Details

Official Sites:

Official soundtrack site

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 April 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Small Island See more »

Filming Locations:

Jamaica See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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