Robert De Niro, Ed Norton and Milla Jovovich star in this drama thriller about a convicted arsonist trying to manipulate a parole officer with the help of his beautiful wife
Jonathan Smith adapts his novel about rocky love on the Cornish coast in 1913.
Adapted by Jonathan Smith from his 1995 novel of the same name, Summer In February documents the ultimately tragic love triangle between Edwardian artist Alfred Munnings (Dominic Cooper), his best friend Captain Gilbert Evans (Dan Stevens) and the woman they both fell in love with, Florence Carter-Wood (Emily Browning). Set in Cornwall just before the First World War, the tempestuous relationships between these three intriguing historical characters are played out against the craggy backdrop of the Cornish coastline.
This script undoubtedly benefits from being written by the author of the original text; Smith knows his characters well and delivers taut, insightful scenes. Cinematographer Andrew Dunn (The Perks of Being A Wallflower) furthermore makes the most of dizzying cliffs, serene riverbanks and rickety cottages. Perhaps the most striking element of this deeply touching adaptation, which is based on events documented in the diaries of Captain Gilbert Evans, is its use of strong casting contrasts to illustrate the destructive clash of passionate personalities. Cooper oozes an uneasy, almost sordid, charisma as the unpredictable, and at times intimidating, Munnings whilst Stevens’ clean-cut manner, jutting jaw and perfectly prim posture highlights his unbending virtue as his heart is broken, by both his friend and the woman he loves, more than once. Caught between these two opposing suitors, Browning’s petite, bowed presence effortlessly paints the portrait of a delicate and complicated young woman. All in all, both the casting and the acting are a decided triumph.
A love triangle may not seem the most original storyline, but director Christopher Menaul adds intrigue by refusing to pigeon hole his characters into the categories of good and evil; morally right and wrong. By the time the final credits roll the audience is left to decide for themselves whether or not Munnings did mistreat Carter-Wood (although the fact he did not mention her in his memoirs in the same way Evans wrote about her in his diaries speaks volumes) or whether her depressive state made a bad situation far, far worse. The film does, at times, suffer from pacing problems but at a neat 100 minutes this is only a very minor flaw in what is a heartrending depiction of a very sad episode in British cultural history.
Thoughtfully cast and beautifully shot Menaul’s opaque portrayal of love, betrayal and loss in an artists’ colony is not quite a masterpiece, but unquestionably displays some impressive flourishes that will stir and move.
When Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) is killed in the past by a time-travelling villain, Agent J (Will Smith) travels back to 1969 to save him, and teams up with a younger version of Agent K (Josh Brolin) on Film4
The future starts here! Film4's 2015 season of science fiction features classics of the genre, old and new
Find out who voted for Film4.com's list of the top 100 must-see films of the 21st Century so far
A tooth-chattering voyage through the scariest movies ever made
@Film4 World cinema fans! Our late-night highlight at 1.05am is Werner Herzog's drama The Enigma Of Kaspar Hauser. https://t.co/VDusqpX8HG
@Film4 "They're bad people, they should suffer." Up next at 11.10pm, Neil Maskell & @mrmichaelsmiley star in @mr_wheatley's Kill List.
@Film4 Not long until Kill List at 11.10pm. Here's director Ben Wheatley, setting the scene in our Interview Special: http://t.co/nMlKYReR18
@Film4 In an hour at 11.15pm, we're screening gory British horror Kill List, one of our must-see films of the 21st century: http://t.co/4eCf6sPnXN
@Film4 Tonight. 11.15pm. #KillList http://t.co/vDPdUP5W3k https://t.co/ga5Z2yWUFP