Sunday, 24 January 2010

Glorious 39 - Cameo - 24/1/10

Stephen Poliakoff delivers a beautifully crafted pre-war thriller that tells the tale of the family of Sir Alexander Keyes, a government official, in the run up to the outbreak of world war two.

Keyes eldest, and adopted, daugher Anne finds her idyllic life shattered by the realisation that all is not as it appears within her family as she becomes dragged into the twisted behind-the-scenes politics of those who opposed Britains involvement in conflict with Germany and who are determined to avoid it at any cost.

It is difficult to say too much more without giving away detail that would simply spoil the film. What I can say is that in Romola Garai, as Anne, gives a performance that can only be described as brilliant. She is absolutely captivating whenever she is on screen. Utterly convincing as the character she plays and never falling into the trap of giving a hysterical performance despite the character she plays being exactly that at times. She is a real talent.

This is a thriller that does indeed thrill in places and that casts a light on a period of British history that has been given a romantic gloss the further away from it we have travelled. There is no doubt that this countries finest hour was during the second world war but the period preceeding it is one in which there were several figures who were not keen on our becoming embroiled in a war with Germany for not entirely altruistic reasons. "Glorious 39" does a good job of exploring and exposing that period.

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