movie film review | chris tookey

Tamara Drewe

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  Tamara Drewe Review
Tookey's Rating
7 /10
Average Rating
6.67 /10
Gemma Arterton, Roger Allam , Bill Camp
Full Cast >

Directed by: Stephen Frears
Written by: Moira Buffini. Based on Posy Simmondsí graphic novel. Loosely based on Thomas Hardyís Far From The Madding Crowd

Released: 2010
Origin: UK
Colour: C
Length: 109

MIXED Reviews

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One of the most pleasing things about Stephen Frearsí latest, at least in terms of Cannes, is that itís a comedy; such light-hearted things are rare at the festival. But it also boasts, as one might expect, an admirably light touch, even towards the end of the movie when the narrative takes a sudden, unexpected turn into noticeably darker territory... I need more subtlety and colour than is available here. It might be different if it was laugh out loud funny, but the humour is low key, and the film's narrative is as much melodrama as comedy. I did enjoy the film as it went along, and would, on balance, recommend it. But it's a fleeting entertainment that didn't leave me feeling wholly satisfied.
(Philip Raby. Front Row Film)
Tamara Drewe is insubstantial but highly enjoyable, getting by on good cheer, a pitch-perfect cast, and a sharp script. Its emotional punch is limited to a loving empathy for the boredom of growing up in the small town, but I was also oddly moved by its implicit defense of intellectualism and personal expression as essential aspects of art.
(Matt Noller, Slant magazine)
Stephen Frearsís perfectly silly new film, Tamara Drewe, showing out of competition, is based on a graphic novel adapted from a comic strip, so donít expect to go wading in deep waters here... Frears handles the farcical elements with ease, and thereís both deft language play and inventive slapstick here, but the film lacks a centre. Twenty-four-year-old star Arterton (Clash of the Titans and the upcoming Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time) also wears jeans and a red halter top so well she doesnít seem to deserve to be the title character.
(Liam Lacey, Toronto Globe and Mail)
It's not a pretty picture as it revolves around Tamara's selfish actions that threaten to spoil the sympathy for her helpless waif personna. But if you don't take it all that seriously, it's a pretty picture, indeed, as Stephen Frears' adaption of Posey Simmonds' graphic novel mixes hilarious ironies into the moral mayhem. The English countryside has never been so well planted with whimsy and we have Atherton's rowdy appetite to thank for it.
(Jules Brenner, Cinema Signals Movie Reviews)
It has its share of laughs, but overall hardly moves the dial.
(Brad Brevet, Rope of Silicon)
Jaunty and often very funny, this is a spoof of romance novels set in a village where writers go to get away from distractions, only to create their own mischief. Spoofs of spoofs are difficult to pull off, but Frears gives it a good go... The film looks amazing, of course, as Frears beautifully captures the rural setting while quietly observing the characters' thoughts and feelings. The film is a riot of flirting, jealousies, yearning desires and crazy obsessions, and yet it feels strangely simplistic even within the structure of a tangled farce. This is probably due to the way the narrative deals with each element of the story using sudden events and corny twists that are deeply implausible. The sassy attitudes, on the other hand, are all too recognisably real.
(Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall)
Stephen Frears' big-screen version of the Posy Simmonds comic strip is a very cosy, middlebrow affair. Imagine Martin Scorsese in Ambridge adapting The Archers and you'll come close to its essence. It's amiable enough, has plenty of picture-postcard imagery of rural England (with hens and cows to the fore) and Gemma Arterton looks very fetching in her denim shorts. This, though, isn't exactly Frears at full throttle. There is precious little of the dark passion that ran through Thomas Hardy's Far from the Madding Crowd (to which constant reference is made) here.
(Geoffrey MacNab, Independent)

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