14 March 2016

Summer in February

Summer in February 2013
  • Director: Christopher Menaul
  • Based on novel by Jonathan Smith
  • Cast: Dan Stevens, Emily Browning, Dominic Cooper, Mia Austen, Hattie Morahan, Max Deacon, Shaun Dingwall, Michael Maloney, Nicholas Farrell
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction
    • Dan Stevens – Downton Abbey
    • Emily Browning – Ned Kelly
    • Dominic Cooper – Starter for 10, My Week with Marilyn, An Education, Mamma Mia
    • Hattie Morahan – Bletchley Circle
    • Max Dreacon – Flashbacks of a Fool
    • Shaun Dingwall The Young Victoria, Colour Me Kubrick
    • Nicholas Farrell – Testament of Youth, Amazing Grace, Driving Lessons, Sex Chips & Rock’n’Roll, Hamlet, Twelfth Night, In the Bleak Midwinter, Othello
    • Michael Maloney – The Young Victoria, Bonekickers, Notes on a Scandal, Babel, Hamlet, In the Bleak Midwinter, Hamlet, Henry V
  • Why? The book was recommended by HC whom we met in Penzance last year
  • Seen: 12 March 2016 with friend YW in our read-book-see-movie group 

The best part of the book was the Cornish setting. Also interesting was the artists’ colony in the area where we spent a week in May last year.
The movie is well adapted from the book but that doesn’t help so much. I thoroughly dislike the artist A.J. Munnings but I assume that was deliberate on the author’s part, and in the role Dominic Cooper is just as obnoxious. Dan Stevens is just as noble and handsome and dull as he is in Downton Abbey and makes the character Gilbert as uninteresting as he is in the book.  Emily Browning as Florence moves me not at all and sadly the movie makes even less use than the book of what could have been interesting class and gender confrontations. Instead it’s just a love triangle. A boring one at that, with not a spark of chemistry amongst the three of them.
Nicholas Farrell and Michael Maloney always add quality to their films and this is a quality film, but…boring. The landscapes and seascapes and villages and interiors and Cornwall itself are all stunning but how could they not be?
They’re not enough. The subject and times are of interest. I’m sorry I don’t like the film more.

2 ½ * of 5

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