George and Betty, a middle-class English couple, have just moved into a big Edwardian house in London and are throwing a party to celebrate. Unfortunately, after ten days none of their ...
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Jimmy is a self-loathing and frustrated musician who works at a candy shop. He takes out his rage on his long suffering wife and his business partner and best friend, who lives next door. ... See full summary »
Award winning director Lindsay Anderson (If..., O Lucky Man!) subverts the mockumentary genre and presents to the audience a detailed and humored account of what truly means to be Lindsay ... See full summary »
An impassive young girl is taken from her suicidal London life, back to her home in North England, on a bizarre bus trip. Seen through the poetic eye of the camera, this is a commentary of doomed British morbidity.
Despite success on the field, a rising rugby star senses the emerging emptiness of his life as his inner angst begins to materialize through aggression and brutality, so he attempts to woo his landlady in hopes of finding reason to live.
George and Betty, a middle-class English couple, have just moved into a big Edwardian house in London and are throwing a party to celebrate. Unfortunately, after ten days none of their furniture has arrived, having been sent to Carlisle by mistake, three of the four toilets don't work and cracks are starting to appear in the ceiling. However, nothing can dent their determination to have a good time.Written by
Peter Brynmor Roberts
Alan Bennett was so downhearted at the joint failure of this and of his stage play "Enjoy" shortly afterwards that he seriously considered quitting writing and leaving Britain for America. He felt that the critical mauling of the film was partly due to its heavy prior promotion with interviews and reports from the set (the fact that Clive James, in a review that particularly angered Bennett, extensively quoted one such interview with Lindsay Anderson, titled "The Master at Work", bears this out). See more »
The closing credits were seen on an in-shot television that the mother watches. See more »
Lindsay and Bennett make for a highly interesting and enjoyable odd couple
A highly entertaining, occasionally brilliant, and almost impossible to see satirical broadside against "The Old Crowd" who dominate Britain.
It's an intriguing meeting of two genius creative figures – director Lindsay Anderson and writer Alan Bennett – who wouldn't seem a natural match. Anderson was at his best in the weird, surreal and wildly entertaining films "If " and "O Lucky Man". Bennett's long history of brilliant writing tended to be much more grounded in reality, much less blatant in it's outrage (and metaphors). He's a far more subtle presence.
But the two go well together, each pushing the other's boundaries. I wonder if Bennett's script was full of such out there ideas as constantly panning away from the spectacle of this group of haughty and silly well-to-do aging insiders to reveal the real film crew just a few feet away recording the farce. But it's a brilliant device, reminding us of how artificial these people and the insulated world they've created to live in really are. (And how blind they are to what's right in front of their eyes).
There's not much in the way of a plot, just a series of very odd, mostly quite funny and odd events and encounters over the course of a dinner party. The actors are terrific, wonderfully walking the line between absurdist cartoons and being just real enough to inspire some level of human interest.
It's not perfect. Some ideas are just too repeated, hammered home, and on the nose (those giant cracks growing in the ceiling anyone?) . But I was thrilled to finally see it, a fascinating piece in the history of two of England's most important dramatic presences from the 2nd half of the 20th century.
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