DIR: LISA BARROS D’SA AND GLENN LEYBURN. WITH: LESLEY MANVILLE, LIAM NEESON. UK 2019. 92 MIN
Liam Neeson and Lesley Manville play a long-married couple coping with a cancer diagnosis in this subtle, empathetic character study written by playwright Owen McCafferty.
Both retired, Joan and Tom live a life of comforting routines and habit, having finally come to terms with the death of their daughter many years before. This day-to-day existence is troubled, however, by the sudden news that Joan has breast cancer. Everything ordinary is turned on its head as the pair must navigate new eruptions of anger and fear, hospital bureaucracy and interminable waiting rooms.
Viewers used to watching Leeson in an action-film context should take pleasure in watching him in a more thoughtful, dramatic role; his relationship with Lesley Manville’s character feels intimate, lived-in and warm. She, meanwhile, is the film’s true beating heart, giving a sensitive nuanced performance that gives the lie to the idea that there is any such thing as an ordinary love.
Screening as part of CINECITY: THe Brighton Film Festival 2019. Each year, CINECITY takes you on adventures in world cinema, bringing you the best in festival previews, live cinema and archive treasures