Dreaming Of Joseph Lees

Dreaming Of Joseph Lees


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

An unrequited love story in the depths of gloomy Somerset, circa 1958, has the dead hand of Edwardian melodrama about it. Country folk don't change much. They go mad and no-one notices.

Eric Styles' directorial debut is beautiful to look at, consistently well acted and so slow at times it whispers to a halt. The script by Catherine Linstrom is good for the girls, less convincing with the boys. Frank Findlay (old Da) has an authority that is as pleasing to watch as Lauren Richardson, who plays Samantha Morton's little sister.

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Eva (Morton) has a crush on a one-legged second cousin (Rupert Graves), whom she never sees, and marries a weird little pig farmer (Lee Ross) instead, because he's persistent and there. This is a film about isolation, infatuation, love as a blunt instrument, emotional blackmail and never trusting a man who smiles too often.

Morton has an integrity that won't allow Eva the consolation of sex appeal. She is mousy and shy and secretly passionate. Ross switches from flirtatious mummery to suicidal despair, without stopping to catch his breath. Graves has little to do but look pale and interesting. After setting up a menage-a-trois inside Eva's head, Linstrom ends so inadequately you want to scream.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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Unrequited love in 1950s Somerset.

Director: Eric Styles

Writer: Catherine Linstrom

Starring: Samantha Morton, Lee Ross, Rupert Graves, Miriam Margoyles, Frank Finlay, Nicholas Woodeson, Lauren Richardson

Year: 1999

Runtime: 92 minutes

Country: UK


EIFF 1999

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