Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Glorious 39

UK Release: 20th November 2009
Watched on TV: Monday 15th August 2011
Rating: 12A
Genre: Drama, History, Romance
Runtime: 2hrs 5mins
Tagline: You Can’t Always Run From The Past
IMDb Plot Summary: 1939 is set between present-day London and the idyllic British countryside in the time before the beginning of the Second World War. At a time of uncertainty and high tension, the story revolves around the formidable Keyes family, who are keen to uphold and preserve their very traditional way of life. The eldest sibling Anne is a budding young actress who is in love with Foreign Office official Lawrence, but her seemingly perfect life begins to dramatically unravel when she stumbles across secret recordings of the pro-appeasement movement. As war breaks out, dark secrets are revealed.
My Review: Romola Garai is one of the most tremendous actors of recent times. Since BBC’s Emma a couple years ago and in her recent role as Bel Rowley in the delightful if a little disappointing The Hour, anyone can see the girl’s got talent. And Stephen Poliakoff’s Glorious 39 well and truly puts her on the map as she leads as the adopted daughter of an MP who gets caught up into a world of lies, betrayal, politics and conspiracy. What begins as a fantastically beautiful and subtle film set in the Norfolk countryside, soon spirals out of control with many a shocking turn along the way. As a web of murders unfolds around her she learns the consequences of having knowledge that those in power don’t want her to have. The paranoia is heightened one event after the other and peppered with memorable cinematography and images that capture the essence of the time perfectly. 
The acting was spot on. I haven’t seen such a talented cast in a long time. David Tennant, Hugh Bonneville, Bill Nighy, Christopher Lee, Julie Christie, Juno Temple, Eddie Redmayne, Charlie Cox, Jeremy Northam, Colin Redgrave - faces we’re familiar with and who prove why they’re the best of British talent on offer today. 
Glorious 39 is wonderfully shot and full of suspense: it is a film that screams quality from the lighting, colouring, locations and costumes. 
However it isn’t perfect. Some plot threads lead off to nowhere and it leaves you asking questions over the how realistic the plot could be, not to mention the absurd and unnecessary ending, but ultimately it is one of the best films I have seen in a long time and I very much urge you to see it.
Score: 9/10

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