Make sure you catch it!
DON’T walk, run. This is one of the best films of the year, but don’t expect it to be in cinemas for long. It failed at the US box office after a good start, apparently because it is dark, depressing and does not appeal to men. Pish-tosh. Real men will see this and weep, as I did. It is one of the most moving and profound films in a long time.
Those who read the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro may have high expectations, but I had not read it. A few have found the casting of Keira Knightley hard to believe: too beautiful etcetera. Quibbles. I am not going to pick nits with a film so complete in its virtues.
A prologue introduces Kathy (Carey Mulligan) as an adult. She has been a carer for nine years. She watches as a young man is prepared for an operation. ”Carers and donors have achieved so much,” she says. Her sadness is palpable.
The action then returns to 1978. Kathy (played as a young girl by Isobel Meikle-Small) attends an exclusive college in the English countryside. Her best friend is the beautiful Ruth (Ella Purnell) but Kathy likes the odd and tempestuous Tommy (Charlie Rowe), who is often bullied. The school places great store in art, but Tommy can’t draw, so his pictures never get selected for ”The Gallery”, the highest honour. The head, Miss Emily (Charlotte Rampling), reminds an assembly full of cherubic faces that the students of Hailsham are special. They must keep themselves healthy, inside and out, and never stray beyond the grounds. A new ”guardian”, Miss Lucy (Sally Hawkins), finds the deception too much. She tells her class what the future holds, and what the word ”donor” means.
Read the rest at The Sydney Morning Herald.