November 27 - December 4, 2015
We saw this film at the London film festival and absolutely loved it, but we didn’t recommend it then as both screenings were sold out. But it’s now being screened at various Picturehouses (Picturehouse Central, Clapham, Hackney and Crouch End, among others) for a week, beginning November 27th. It’s about Leonard and Maria, an elderly and hilariously, maddeningly eccentric couple marooned in their Lake District house by Leonard’s frailty (he, in fact, has got ‘stuck’ on the sofa). Their son Daniel arrives to try and help – with the mess, the mice, the damp, the squalor, and certainly he gives Maria, his mother, a weekend off from dealing with the exhausting Leonard. This means father and son are left alone to deal with each other. If this sounds depressing, the film isn’t. It’s shocking and sad at moments, but also very, very funny. What’s most notable though is how true it all rings: this, more than anything, is a film that cuts close to the bone. It’s clearly a personal story, and it was filmed in director and writer Tom Browne’s late parents’ house in Cumbria, filled to the brim with their things, but anyone struggling with their parents – hell, anyone with parents – will feel like chunks of this film could be about them, even if they don’t have mice running around the kitchen. And it’s just brilliant, too, on the mysteries of long-term love and partnership and the stamina required for both. Richard Johnson (who recently died), and Gemma Jones are fantastically good as Leonard and Maria, as is Daniel Cerqueira, who co-wrote the film with Browne, who plays their son. All this, plus the beauty of the Lake District. Do go and see it.