Queen And Country


Reviewed by: Richard Mowe

Callum Turner in Queen And Country: "Boorman evokes a world he knows 
intimately with skill and affection."
"Boorman evokes a world he knows intimately with skill and affection."

John Boorman retraces his National Service roots and family life in the Fifties in his autobiographical follow-up to Hope And Glory.

After portraying the rigours of the London blitz he recreates post-War Britain through the eyes of 18-year-old Bill Rohan (played by newcomer Callum Turner) who has an idyllic adolescence in a rambling house on an island on the Thames near Shepperton Studios.

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The teenager becomes fascinated by the meticulous way the film crews do take after take until they get it precisely right – unlike real life when things can seem much messier.

Although he hoped he might miss his call-up, the papers come through and he is off to boot camp where he strikes up a friendship with a fellow conscript Percy (Caleb Landry Jones), imbued with an anarchic viewpoint.

Woven in are interactions with a fussy sergeant major (David Thewlis), a marvellously sardonic Major (Richard E Grant) and willing members of the opposite sex from the nearby nurses’ home. Bill discovers blossoming romance when he meets an enigmatic blonde he names Ophelia (Tamsin Egerton).

It ambles along pleasantly enough with a real period feel for middle-class life at the time, leading up the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth, the sense of the end of Empire and a change in moral values. It doesn’t however have the edge or emotional punch of Hope And Glory, which won the 81-year-old director no fewer than five Oscar nominations.

Boorman evokes a world he knows intimately with skill and affection, turning out an immaculately crafted film with an old-fashioned feel and sense of values.

Reviewed on: 20 May 2014
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An Englishman signs up to fight in the Korean War.
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Read more Queen And Country reviews:

Luke Shaw ****

Director: John Boorman

Writer: John Boorman

Starring: Tamsin Egerton, David Thewlis, Caleb Landry Jones, Richard E Grant, Vanessa Kirby, Sinead Cusack

Year: 2014

Runtime: 114 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: UK

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