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Archive for September 14th, 2010

Tamara Drewe

Journalist Tamara Drewe (Gemma Arterton) returns home the small Dorset village she left ten years earlier, she soon meets her ex Andy (Luke Evans) and rock star Ben (Dominic Cooper). Meanwhile her neighbours, philandering crime writer Nicholas Hardiment (Roger Allam) and his long suffering wife Beth (Tamsin Greig) are running a writers retreat. The story started out as a weekly comic strip in The Guardian by Posy Simmonds, it was published as a complete work by Jonathan Cape in 2007. The story is loosely based on the Thomas Hardy novel Far from the Madding Crowd.

The movie has been critically acclaim and has received universal 4 and 5 star reviews, whist there isn’t anything overtly wrong with it the movie as a whole it just doesn’t gel together. The characters are good and the actors playing them do a great job but they are poorly served by a film that feels a little dull and often falls flat. I can happily report that Gemma Arterton has completely won me over in her last few movies as mentioned in my review of The Disappearance of Alice Creed, the way she looks doesn’t do any harm either! The interesting thing is how little her character is used. Love her or hate her she (both actor and character) is certainly interesting to watch but the movie is more an ensemble piece with the supporting characters getting as much screen time as the lead.

The film is full of interesting ideas that are initially brilliantly conceived but are never developed or evolved. The ultimate problem with the movie is that it failed to engage me as a viewer . I couldn’t relate to any of the characters which meant that I really wasn’t that bothered what happened to them. I did find some of the situations they find themselves in to be vaguely amusing despite being hugely contrived but little more. But it isn’t all bad, I have already mentioned how good Gemma Arterton is, she isn’t the only one, rising star Dominic Cooper is clearly having fun in his role as a vacuous rock drummer and it shows. Tamsin Greig best know for her part in the BBC radio series The Archers is also really entertaining with her portrayal of the put upon wife. But the greatest success of the movie is Jessica Barden whose character Jody is one half of a pair of fifteen year old schoolgirls who provide a grounding for the movie. As a bored teenage desperate to get away from he rural upbringing she could be the next Tamara Drewe in the making. As great as these supporting characters are I would just liked to see more of Tamara Drewe.

A film that had enough good things about it to make me want to like it more than I did. The acting is great but the film isn’t half as clever or as funny as it should be, or that it thinks it is for that matter.

Three Stars out of Five

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