London Film Festival 2011 – Day 16

The Deep Blue Sea  (Terence Davies, 2011)

Terence Davies’ The Deep Blue Sea is a quiet, delicate end to an odd London Film Festival. Based on a play by Terence Rattigan, it’s a period-set drama of doomed romance, which will evoke memories of Neil Jordan’s End of the Affair and Todd Haynes’ Far From Heaven (both LFF highlights of years gone past).

Rachel Weisz plays the trophy wife of a much older High Court Judge (Simon Russell Beale) in post WW2 Britain. Weisz’ character is embroiled in an affair with an RAF pilot (Tom Hiddleston), which when discovered by her husband leads her to a life of relative poverty and constraint. The performances from all three leads are impeccable, while Davies’ return to feature films after Of Time and the City is beautifully directed.

In spite of The Deep Blue Sea’s theatrical origins, origins that Davies revels in – every scene could be shot on a theatre set – it’s a beautifully cinematic affair. The film is shot in the softest of focus, the camera is often to be found lingering, lovingly, on Weisz through the stages of her character’s dissatisfaction with her new life.

It would be obvious to describe The Deep Blue Sea as a flipside to Brief Encounter, and it’s hard to escape that feeling. The film is clearly not in that class (what is?), but it’s a lovely, fragile thing, and a great, slightly squiffy, very ‘British’ way to end the festival, and Sandra Hebron’s custody of it. — “Ron Swanson

London Film Festival Awards

More than 50 films later – that’s the end of our daily coverage from the festival.  But there’s more LFF next week, with closing thoughts (probably a posh way of saying top ten lists) from some regular contributors on Monday, as well as the results of our Twitter audience award vote, and on Tuesday a special report on Italian films at the festival.

For now, we’ll leave you with the festival’s official award-winners.

Best Film – We Need to Talk About Kevin

The Sutherland Award for most original and imaginative feature debut – Las Acacias

Best British Newcomer – Candese Reid, Junkhearts

The Grierson Award for best documentary – Into the Abyss: A Tale of Death, A Tale of Life

1 thought on “London Film Festival 2011 – Day 16

  1. I found the Deep Blue Sea slightly too mannered and stagey, although the actors were excellent. None of the lovely colours evident in that stil were there: it was so like watching through a dirty glass that I wanted to knock on the projectionist’s door and ask why.

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