Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
Click here to listen to a brand new episode of Ink & Paint as Daniel discusses the groundbreaking classic 'One Hundred and One Dalmatians'!x
review, Summerland, Summerland, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Gemma Arterton, Tom Courtenay, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Penelope Wilton, Lucas Bond, Dixie Egerickx, Amanda Root, Jessica Gunning, David Horovitch, Siân Phillips, Jessica Swale, Drama film rating

SUMMERLAND

★★★★

SWEET AND SENTIMENTAL

BRITISH FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Ashley Teresa
16th December 2020

British playwright and screenwriter Jessica Swale thoroughly impresses with her debut film 'Summerland', a film that manages to remain sincere and heartwarming, despite the threat of war that looms over it.

Initially set in Kent in 1975 but told primarily in a World War II flashback, 'Summerland' is the story of reclusive writer Alice Lamb (Gemma Arterton, 'Murder Mystery', 'Their Finest'). Alice is a shrew of the highest order, the kind of unapologetically independent woman that prompts children to fill her letterbox with dirt and for those in town to "get thee under the table - and hide!" should they cross her path. It's hard not to draw parallels between Alice and women in the folklore she studies, stories of witches and those outcast by society. Alice seems to be fine with these comparisons too, decidedly alone until she reluctantly takes in Frank (Lucas Bond, 'Slumber', TV's 'The Alienist'), a young boy evacuated from London. It's the kind of "obstinate-adult-softens-to-the-child-unexpectedly-placed-in-their-care" plot that you've seen Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson ('Jumanji: The Next Level') tackle a dozen times over his career, but at 'Summerland's' core is a story much more sincere and complex.

'SUMMERLAND' TRAILER

For some, there will be moments of 'Summerland' that feel either incredibly well-worn or overly sentimental, a side effect of the British historical drama subgenre 'Summerland' neatly fits into. However, it's in the narrative shift that occurs roughly halfway through that makes 'Summerland' special, even if shots from the film could fit into the visual style of almost any other film like it. An offscreen death alters the course of the story as it becomes a meditation on the loss of love and how the grief it causes gives us two options; to shut it and the world out, or to let it in for the good of others, however painful that may be.

Gemma Arterton is fantastic as Alice, playing the script's more cliché moments with an authenticity that lets them land. A key component of 'Summerland' is the relationship between Frank and Alice, and despite the rocky beginnings, they are lovely to watch together and are one of my favourite onscreen character pairings of 2020. It's also difficult to not spend this entire review singing the praises of Gugu Mbatha-Raw ('Misbehaviour'), who continues to impress no matter what role she tackles or how much screen time she has. Without giving too much away, Mbatha-Raw's character is to blame for Alice's emotional baggage. Her chemistry with Arterton is magnetic and authentic, making Alice's pain all the more heartbreaking.

An offscreen death alters the course of 'Summerland' as it becomes a meditation on the loss of love and grief.

'Summerland' goes beyond its often-tired narrative beats to deliver a moving story about love, loss and belonging. Its masterstroke, however, is in how it manages to take its devastating subject matter and present it in a mostly jaunty way. Bring some tissues and an iced tea, and you've got the perfect film to escape from the summer heat with.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: 07/01/2021
RUN TIME: 1h 39m
CAST: Gemma Arterton
Tom Courtenay
Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Penelope Wilton
Lucas Bond
Dixie Egerickx
Amanda Root
Jessica Gunning
David Horovitch
Siân Phillips
DIRECTOR: Jessica Swale
PRODUCERS: Guy Heeley
Adrian Sturges
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Pocahontas - 25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
TRENDINGPOCAHONTAS25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
Boss Level - Nostalgic action and quirky foes
TRENDINGBOSS LEVELNostalgic action and quirky foes
xXx: Return Of Xander Cage - The good, the bad and the ugly
TRENDINGxXx: RETURN OF XANDER CAGEThe good, the bad and the ugly
The Violin Player - Sex and strings
TRENDINGTHE VIOLIN PLAYERSex and strings
About A Boy - All grown up 15 years on
TRENDINGABOUT A BOYAll grown up 15 years on
Alliance Française French Film Festival 2021 - Elevate your spirits
TRENDINGWIN ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL 2021Elevate your spirits
The Shepherd - A true story through an unflinching lens
TRENDINGTHE SHEPHERDA true story through an unflinching lens
A Call to Spy - The unknown stories of real-life heroes
TRENDINGA CALL TO SPYThe unknown stories of real-life heroes
The Glass Room - Stunning yet soulless
TRENDINGTHE GLASS ROOMStunning yet soulless
The Truffle Hunters - Joy and dedication in the dirt of Northern Italy
TRENDINGTHE TRUFFLE HUNTERSJoy and dedication in the dirt of Northern Italy
Revisiting 'Dark City' 20 years later - The most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
TRENDINGREVISITING 'DARK CITY' 20 YEARS LATERThe most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
The Dark and the Wicked - 2020's scariest film
TRENDINGTHE DARK AND THE WICKED2020's scariest film
River's Edge - The kids aren't alright
TRENDINGRIVER'S EDGEThe kids aren't alright
Wet Woman in the Wind - A sexy struggle for conquest
TRENDINGWET WOMAN IN THE WINDA sexy struggle for conquest
25 Free-to-Watch Short Horror Films - The scariest shorts we uncovered online
TRENDING25 FREE-TO-WATCH SHORT HORROR FILMSThe scariest shorts we uncovered online
Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse - Fairly brainless
TRENDINGSCOUTS GUIDE TO THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSEFairly brainless
Waterloo - An epic recreation of the legendary battle
TRENDINGWATERLOOAn epic recreation of the legendary battle
Red Pill, Blue Pill - 10 films influenced by 'The Matrix' on its 20th anniversary
TRENDINGRED PILL, BLUE PILL10 films influenced by 'The Matrix' on its 20th anniversary
Malila: The Farewell Flower - Contemplating love and loss
TRENDINGMALILA: THE FAREWELL FLOWERContemplating love and loss
Nymphomaniac - Lars, sex and cinema
TRENDINGNYMPHOMANIACLars, sex and cinema
© 2011 - 2021 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us!