This hour-long feature debut was shown recently on Film 4, in tribute to British director, Tony Scott, who had just died.
Shot in a softish, greyish black & white, it's a character study of an elderly couple, brother and sister, up on the Yorkshire Moors, who've been tainted and traumatised by WWII, in which, we presume the woman's son was killed.
Out driving (this is set in the 1950's, I'd guess), they hit a young lad out on his bike. He dies from his injuries at the scene. The couple, mostly lead by the woman, an excellent Rosamund Greenwood, seem to be transported back to wartime and believe that this casualty is one from war and proceed to dragging his body to their car and taking him to their isolated house.
She starts to dress the corpse with her son's clothes and reciting anecdotes from personal wartime experiences. Her brother collects wood for a coffin.
This all sounds very dark and psychological, grounds for a horror movie, even. But it's shot and follows through so gently and eloquently that any mawkishness or creepiness is held at bay. It certainly makes one think about the scars from wartime, the things folk didn't talk about, because it wasn't the 'thing' to do.
For a debut feature, it's a brave and really quite perceptive piece - not to everyone's taste, for sure. An old BBC2 'Play for Today' perhaps? Scott hasn't gone beyond his means, he's made the best of what he was able and comfortable with and this confidence shows. It is little wonder that Tony Scott was to make his mark so easily on Hollywood.
The film concerns an elderly couple played by Rosamund Greenwood and Roy Evans, who we later discover to be brother and sister, who accidentally run over and kill a young cyclist played by David Pugh on a lonely northern moor - but instead of reporting the incident to the police the woman decides to take the corpse home with them. There she dresses him in the clothes of a second brother, killed in the Second World War, shows him her photo-albums, and tries to engage him in conversation. Her brother, meanwhile, gathers wood to build a coffin. Greenwood has the only speaking part in the movie and largely carries it; she gives a subtle, heart-rending performance as a sister clinging to her past. Memories of the War hang heavily over the house - quite literally in the form of an aircraft propeller suspended from the ceiling that the woman booby-traps in order to prevent her brother burying the corpse. —Lucia Cooper
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
December 25, 2021 at 02:48 AM