The Queen of Sheba's Pearls (2004) Poster

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9/10
Very engaging; enough complexity to leave you mindful that cinema doesn't have to "tie up all loose ends"
shirley12vineyard12 September 2005
With some hesitation ('Please, not another Brit time-warp experience!') and having recently attended Ladies in Lavendar, with its near-similar historical time-frame, related West-country locale and understated realism of rural mid-20C buttoned-up Britishness - this film could have flopped for this movie buff. (There was a 'foreign' stranger in that movie also!) It didn't. I was quickly alerted at the start with the vertigo-inducing camera pans, setting the cross-nation premise. Apart from the almost-too-real gloominess of mid-century interiors I loved this movie. Fortunately we got outdoors enough to let the sunlight in.

Billed as a comedy-drama, the funny bits were often subtle, sometimes laugh-out-loud, usually juxtaposed skilfully against parallel action. There was enough darkness and complexity throughout that a viewer knew some surreal touches would endure. Cheesiness was not going to rule. Terrific writing, including great cameos of English boyhood-girlhood; wonderfully acted by a stellar cast; brilliant slice-of-history realism and a leading lady who is remarkably reminiscent of the late great Ingrid Bergman...identical smile and eyes, and that same voice! TQOSP kept me musing and reflecting for some hours after. Strongly recommended.
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7/10
Sheba's Pearls
dauphin-54 April 2006
I saw this film on DVD in Australia. The cover of the DVD said it was in the tradition of 'The Remains of the Day" & this was not misleading. It was visually enjoyable & authentic in it's depiction of the period in which it was set. I enjoyed all the performances. I admit the beginning was a bit slow with some extended scenery shots & for just a few minutes I was concerned I might not get into it but once the story really got going I didn't look back. It had a good mix of pathos & humour throughout & characters from young children to the elderly so there is something for everyone! I saw Brokeback Mountain on the same weekend & I enjoyed this film more!
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6/10
Very nice cinematography, but a boring story
Lembrowski7 August 2005
Colin Nutley, pretty famous Englishman who have watched the Swedish way of life and put it on the screen for about 20 years, has now done an English version of his first big hit movie Änglagård (1992). His in real life wife Helena Bergström plays the lead (as usual!), and the acting is through the whole cast are quite good. But the story is not engaging and for many moments quite boring. Nutley spreads out the story in a couple of treads, that he doesn't really tie together in the end. Jens Fischers cinematography is what's great about this movie, and it is sometimes breathtaking. But this movie i a big step forward for Nutley after the worthless Liza Marklund-movies.
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8/10
Director's challenge in the final finesse
Circumnavigation4 March 2012
... there are so many good things in this film and yet the film doesn't shine as it should! ... essentially due to issues with Script and Directing

this film rambles ... the script could have benefited from a good prune and reshaping, it feels like a film adapted from a book though its not ... there are parts of the film that work and other parts which feel awkward/too melodramatic

I'm frustrated with films like this : bec its evident in the production values that all the Departments brought their A Game : production design, the costumiers, the actors, the lighting, the greens, the Camera dept, the music, the sound etc etc ... ALL the departments are top notch EXCEPT the Director ... to make films of this complexity requires an incredible Producer ... and I fear that often perhaps the Director may get so lost micro managing that they slip from being the top notch visionary General in command ...

so in this case, what would have been best for this production is to bring in a Director that matches the calibre of the troops

however Wikipedia advises that this was impossible for this production as " The movie was produced, directed and written by Colin Nutley who also happens to be married to the film's star, Helena Bergström" : great pity ... in hindsight I'd advise somehow working in more objectivity and separation... its a very pretty film but too jumbled

really a film like this holds such promise with the elements glowing ... they just needed the Director to weave them with the objectivity of a knife! what a pity
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9/10
A beautiful, moving and very English film
bikerpaul681 March 2019
I watched this film on DVD and loved it. Although there are a few comic touches, the prevailing mood is of melancholy reminiscence, the recurring themes, loss and bereavement. Visually it is magnificent, capturing the English countryside to perfection. Everything is very quiet and understated, also in a very English way. The acting is first-rate, and I particularly admired the performances of Rollo Weeks, a sixteen-year-old grieving for his mother, and Simon Paisley Day, who has a small but chilling role as his sententious and sadistic headmaster. This film deserves to be better known.
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An interesting look at an upper class family in post war England
calum-215 January 2007
For a while I was more interested in how the presence of such an outstanding Irish figure as Lorcan Cranitch in the family was going to be explained. When given it made sense. In the meantime the mystery of how Jack's aunt could pop up from nowhere and somehow have been overlooked by her mother kept us glued to the screen. There was however one major gaffe at the beginning of the film. When Jack is boarding the train to take him to his grandmother, the fact that it is wartime Britain is illustrated by not only Jack, but a number of others on the platform, all carrying the general issue cardboard gas mask boxes strung from their shoulders. This would place the scene in either 1939 or even perhaps the end of 1940, since those boxes soon dropped to pieces, and a large variety of other containers were used and came into fashion. I remember having mine replaced with a chocolate coloured round tin cannister. Ladies were able to buy containers resembling handbags, but round at the bottom, and wide and flat at the top, with matching straps. It was quite a blow when the fact that Jack's mother had died eight years before the King, was revealed. I was on embarkation leave when the King died in February 1952 so remember the time well. Eight years earlier put the death of Jack's mother around the beginning of 1944. At that time I doubt whether a single person still carried a gas-mask, never mind a brand new cardboard box.
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