3 out of 10
Release date: 24th March 2017
cast: Jenny Seagrove, Julian Kostov, John Hannah, Ronan Keating, Amanda Abbington, Felicite Du Jeu, Susan Hampshire, Brenock O’Connor, Joanna David, Gwen Taylor, Izzy Meikle-Small, Andy Gathergood, Sophie Skelton with Peter Wight and Nicholas Farrell
Writer: Jenny Lecoat
Trailer: ANOTHER MOTHER’S SON
This Bill Kenwright production of the story of one of WW2’s many unsung heroes, Louisa Gould pays perfunctory lip-service to her. This brave woman and a network of trusted friends and family risked their lives and freedom to give shelter to an escaped Russian POW in occupied Jersey, Channel Islands. The CI was the only part of the British Isles to be occupied by the Germans in the WW2, and was used as a POW camp in part. Russian workgangs were common place and escapes regular.
Louisa Gould (JENNY SEAGROVE – THE GUARDIAN) takes in escapee Fyodor (who she called Bill)(JULIAN KOSTOV – LEATHERFACE) and her network of friends help to hide him from detection for abotu 2 years from the Germans. It’s a shame then that this tale doesn’t get a film to match the material. What we get is an episode of The Royal or Heartbeat with extra Germans. Every line is a tired cliche, every character a cipher, and it doesn’t land a single punch until the very final shot. It’s cosy Sunday afternoon programming for people who like their films undemanding, even the ones with a harrowing subject matter. This plays to the lowest common denominator and as a story is predictable, sentimental and as hackneyed as they come. Even the performances are largely broad from an over experienced cast. It’s interesting to see veteran, beauty Jenny Seagrove in a rare film lead, and singer Ronan Keating (POSTMAN PAT). The former struggles to inject, but still suceeds in delivering a good, solid performance, yet the script does her no favours and she’s left to look like a phoney actor. Ronan Keating similarly embodies a cardboard cut-out of a role, but he’s purely there as a stunt-casting anomaly. He fails at blending in, and struggles with an accent that’s all over the map.
The production values are good, and the period well-evoked, so it scores some kudos from Britpic Posse for looking the part, its a shame it runs like a lazy made-for-TV special. With a bit more grit, a better script and more naturalistic acting styles this is a sotry worth the telling. Maybe, it will get revisited one day – because Louisa Gould deserved a more fitting memorial than this film.
3 out of 10 – This true story of extraordinary bravery needed a better film than this over-simplified, watered down drama.
WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE
- Jenny Seagrove: Peripheral, Run For Your Wife, Judge John Deed (TV), Bullseye!, The Guardian, A Chorus Of Disapproval, Local Hero, Moonlighting (1982)
- Julian Kostov: Leatherface
- John Hannah: Agents of SHIELD (TV), The Marker, Genesis, Bone In The Throat, Alleycats, Shooting For Socrates, Angel (2015), The Christmas Candle, The Wee Man, The Mummy 3, Before You Go, Rebus (TV), The Mummy 2, Circus, The Hurricane, McCallum (TV), Resurrection Man, Sliding Doors, The Mummy, The James Gang, The Innocent Sleep, Madagascar Skin, Four Weddings and a Funeral
- Ronan Keating: Postman Pat Movie (voice), Goddess, Keith Lemon
- Amanda Abbington: Mr Selfridge (TV), Cuffs (TV), Sherlock (TV), Ghosted, The Good Night
- Felicite Du Jeu: Waking The Dead (TV), Deserter
- Susan Hampshire: Monarch of the Glen (TV), The Grand (TV)
- Joanna David: Cotton Mary, Rogue Trader, Pride & Prejudice (1995)(TV)
- Gwen Taylor: Pylon, The Tracy Ullman Show (TV), Lady In The Van, Coronation Street (TV), Heartbeat (TV), Barbara (TV), Came Out It Rained Went Back In Again, A Bit of a Do (TV), Duty Free (TV)
- Izzy Meikle-Small: Pudsey The Dog, Private Peaceful, Never Let Me Go
- Andy Gathergood: Guernsey, Risen (2016)
- Sophie Skelton: Day of the Dead (2017), Outlander (TV), Waterloo Road (TV)
- Peter Wight: The Sense of an Ending, Trespass Against Us, Ethel & Ernest (voice), Kon Tiki, Mr Turner, The Look Of Love, My Week With Marilyn, Hardboiled Sweets, Ghosted, Best Laid Plans (2012), Clone, Another Year, Cass, Hot Fuzz, Babel, Flood, Pride & Prejudice (2005), Vera Drake, Shiner, Naked, Mean Time
- Nicholas Farrell: Mindhorn, Remainder, Legend (2015), Grace of Monaco, Summer In February, The Iron Lady, Driving Lessons, Charlotte Gray, Beautiful People, Hamlet (1996), Twelfth Night (1996), Othello (1995), In The Bleak Midwinter, Greystoke – The Legend Of Tarzan, Chariots Of Fire