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  • Writer's pictureSteve

Summerland (2020)

Cinebuffs Recommends

Before the now inevitable and compulsory Bank Holiday Bond visit (Casino Royale) later today, this has been lurking on my desk for some time.

Not back as far as release, but long enough for it to start to become niggly and proddy.

Gemma Arterton has been due a visit, having not seen her since The King's Man in 2021 and this poignant wartime drama fits her ever-expanding CV of challenging female roles.

What children born fifty years from now will make of us will seem as antiquated, difficult and humdrum as we see the vagaries of the forties, what with a World War, rationing and children being moved out of urban sprawls to the country, sometimes foisted on the unwary and decidedly unwilling. Case in point - Alice (Arterton) - a solitary, fractious and often short-tempered writer ensconced in a quiet little village on the south coast of England. Scrooge has literally nothing on her with behaviour suggesting she is overtly mean. Initially, at least, of course.

When young Frank the evacuee is hand-delivered, she is perplexed and upset, but naturally for a movie like this, she warms to the child in her care. With regular flashbacks to happier times before the war and her love for another that dare not speak its name, Alice's character becomes a little more understandable.

"Last one past the post is a German."

This is a delicately delightful, carefully delivered story of enduring love, friendship and loss performed with great skill and acting chops from the likes of Arterton, Tom Courtenay and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, not to mention the children involved. Good job the BFI, another winner.


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