To Olivia is the story of Roald Dahl after the loss of his older daughter, and how this affected his relationship with his wife, Patricia Neal, and his other children, particularly his second daughter. The performances were excellent, with particular comments on the performance of Isabella Jonsson who played the younger sister, Tessa. It did show some background to Roald Dahl’s life and writing, but as a person he was not liked. Overall, the film was liked and rated as 3.5-4.5/5.
Mothering Sunday is based on a book by Graham Swift. The performances and cinematography were thought to be excellent. In general the characters were not likable. There was a significant discussion around the nudity used, which did not really add to the story, although it was in the original book. We did have a short discussion about how our enjoyment of the story as compared to the performances and other aspects of a film impact how we rate a film. Basically, this is not a film that members of the class would recommend. Ratings were between 2.5-3.5/5.
Our next film class is on 14 September. The films which were thought to be most interesting are Falling for Figaro, Where the Crawdads Sing and The Phantom of the Open.