movie film review | chris tookey

Truly, Madly, Deeply / Cello

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  Truly, Madly, Deeply  / Cello Review
Tookey's Rating
7 /10
Average Rating
7.15 /10
Juliet Stevenson (LONDON CRITICS' CIRCLE AWARD - BRITISH ACTRESS OF THE YEAR), Alan Rickman, Bill Paterson
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Directed by: Anthony Minghella
Written by: Anthony Minghella3

Released: 1990
Genre: DRAMA
Origin: GB
Length: 105


A North London woman (Juliet Stevenson), whose lover (Alan Rickman) has died, can't get over him, and wishes he would come back. Miraculously he does. She finds herself torn between living with a ghost - which has its inconveniences - and finding a new love, in the form of a sensitive social worker and amateur conjuror (Michael Maloney).

Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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Like many writers who emerged from British TV, Anthony Minghella is good at irony at the expense of his characters' foibles; but he also has the very un-English and much more cinematic ability to portray raw emotion - from the depths of grief to the heights of joy. At both ends of this emotional spectrum, he is wonderfully served by Juliet Stevenson, whose complex reactions to bereavement show up the sanitized acting of Demi Moore in Ghost : this performance should have earned Miss Stevenson an Oscar nomination. She is given able support by Alan Rickman (at his most Eeyore-like) and Michael Maloney (a more than passable Piglet).
Most people love it, but some people really hate it. It's a superior TV play rather than madly cinematic. Even on a miserly ?600,000 budget, the continuity between shots (as regards time, lighting and weather) should have been better. Minghella doesn't move the camera much, and his visual symbolism (mainly involving clouds) is mechanical, cliched and - because its meaning is unclear - pretentious. There are moments of unbearable cuteness; and Michael Maloney and Miss Stevenson play such Hampsteady goody-goodies (he's an art therapist for the mentally handicapped, she helps immigrants to speak English) that some may find them smug rather than appealing.
Still, anyone who enjoyed Manhattan and Annie Hall , or who admired Whit Stillman's Metropolitan , should see this. It's a witty, civilized chamber-piece which manages, in a deceptively lightweight way, to say a lot about how people cope with losing a loved one.

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