Quick on the Drewe

12Sep10

I was completely wrong! No, wait. Let me rephrase. I was completely right! About Tamara Drewe, that is. The trailer is indeed a bad edit, and the film is far, far better than it would have you believe. When it started with a shot of bucolic Dorset village, a cloud of gloom began to condense around my head and I sank further into my seat. Oh crap, is this going to be like The Holiday?

No, it turns out it isn’t – not with Moira Buffini, Stephen Frears and Posy Simmonds in charge. Cutting, funny and beautifully acted. Well cast too, with a busload of character actors all having a blast, though G Arterton is a peculiar blank at its heart. Possibly her character is more of a lightning rod for other people’s perceptions, or maybe Arterton just doesn’t turn in a subtle enough performance. She’s meant to be a damaged firecracker, instead we get a slightly thick sexpot. Still, don’t let the fact that it’s a kind of updated Far From the Madding Crowd put you off. Hardy’s another reason why this never gets syrupy.

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