an English treat.
one of those Terribly Clever movies (brilliant, tersely, elegantly) portraying the extraordinary capacity of the English to keep Absolutely Everything Bottled Up until everyone has had a large amount of gin and there’s a family occasion and a Panic (but no one Mentions it) and suddenly All the secrets (from five generations back, those in the Portraits glowering down from the walls) come Pouring out and a small boy usually sets off something incendiary.
but there’s also Cricket (and boaters and boats and oars and picnics and kissing under leafy branches).
general bucolic and Byron-esque behavio(u)r that is Always there, just beneath the surface.
especially when one has Come Back from Abroad (and thus seen how those with deeper richer blood and more sustaining natures manage to get through life without an ulcer).
yes! Lady Mary’s mummy is in it. (but she’s not an American in this one).
and the Whole Thing is based on a simply splendid book from Julia (sister of Lytton).
all in all, a lovely-looking movie with raging passions underneath and keeps one on the Edge of one’s seat waiting for the first English person to blow up and blow everything sky high.*
*but only after luncheon.
but it’s no Downton Abbey, we warn you.
less warm milk-with-cocoa and more a spiked punch that knocks out the Curate and he is found poisoned on the cold stone floor of the scullery sort of a concoction, if you know what we mean (and if you’re a regular here, you probably Do.)