|Before You Go|
The story has solid potential, but the film never decides if it's a wacky dark comedy or a sweetly sentimental family drama. And these are two genres that simply can never coexist! The result is a general awkwardness from start to finish, as we never know whether a line is meant to be funny or serious. Each scene is obviously meant to mean something, but we can't tell what. And the bland orchestral score never gives us a clue. Performances are fine (although Hamilton's broad turn seems like it's from another movie), with especially strong work from Wilkinson and Walters, as usual. But the script feels uneven and clunky in its attempts to examine the unreliable nature of memory and nostalgia, and its insistence in touching on every family issue imaginable--grief, marital strain, loneliness, ambition, sibling rivalry, the mother-daughter thing. All while leaving a gaping black hole where the father figure so obviously must have been. At age 82, veteran director Gilbert still has a way with actors. But the rest of his film is a mess.
dir Lewis Gilbert|
scr Shelagh Stephenson
with Julie Walters. Joanne Whalley, Victoria Hamilton, Tom Wilkinson, John Hannah, Patricia Hodge, Hugh Ross, Dermot Crowley, Theo Fraser Steele, John Biggins, Stephen Bent, Peter Beaumont
release UK 21.Jun.02
Three sisters. Whalley, Hamilton and Walters take a ride...
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