Wimblington Film Club | Kilburnlad | Film | Reviews

Kilburnlad

Wimblington Film Club

Lion


Lion

I help run a film club in a nearby village and yesterday we screened Lion, a film that I didn't get to see when it was released. It was well reviewed so I didn't expect to be disappointed, and more importantly I didn't want our film club audience to be disappointed. They weren't. As if to validate all the good reviews, our audience clapped at the end of the film and a number of people thanked me for showing it.

It is a wonderful film in many ways. It shows the happiness of two brothers, Saroo and Guddu, who are living in what we would describe as extreme poverty in India. The film begins with them stealing coal from a slowly moving train, which they later trade for milk. A small luxury that they take back to their mother, who promptly gives each of them a drink from it. When Saroo talks his elder brother into taking him into a nearby town, where there is work, this sets of a series of events that will change Saroo's life. Tired from their trip, Saroo falls asleep on the railway platform. When he awakes Gaddu is nowhere to be seen. Saroo searches a train but having not found Gaddu, falls asleep again. When he awakes the train is in motion and he can't get off. In fact he doesn't get off until the train arrives in Calcutta, some 1600 km from his home. As a Hindi speaker he is not understood by the local Bengalis.

The risks to an unaccompanied child in Calcutta are great, and Saroo has a couple of close shaves before ending up in an orphanage, from where he is adopted by a couple from Tasmania, Sue and Joe Brierley. They also later adopt a second Indian boy, Mantosh, but whereas Saroo is quiet and reasonably accepting of his new life, Mantosh appears to be more damaged psychologically, and is very disruptive.

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Florence Foster Jenkins

Today's film at the Wimblington Film Club, which I run along with a woman from the village, was Florence Foster Jenkins. I missed this film while it was on at the cinema, so today it was as new to me as it was to our audience at the film club.

Florence Foster Jenkins

It is a delightful film, a comedy tinged with sadness. The marvellous Meryl Streep plays Florence, an heiress with a passion for music, having trained as a concert pianist but been unable to pursue her dream. As a wealthy woman in New York she sponsors many people in the arts, and at times is clearly duped by them. No more so than by her vocal coach, Carlo Edwards, the assistant director at the Metropolitan Opera. Florence dearly wants to sing opera, and believes that she has a good voice, which unfortunately isn't the case. But Carlo, happy to be well paid, assures Florence that she is singing beautifully.

Supporting Florence, and ensuring that she is not embarrassed by performing outside of a very select band of people, is her husband, St. Clair Bayfield, played by Hugh Grant. He is a far from successful actor, but dotes on Florence, even though he lives in a separate apartment and has a woman friend. We are led to believe that Florence is happy with this arrangement, but it's perhaps more a matter of 'what she doesn't know won't hurt her.' Assisting Florence is her new pianist, Cosmé McMoon, who at first is incredulous at Florence's singing, until St. Clair 'explains things' to him.

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Eddie the Eagle

I didn't catch Eddie the Eagle at the cinema but we chose it for our monthly film at the Wimblington Film Club. After a few 'heavier' titles this film was just what our audience needed, and judging by the spontaneous applause at the end, they thoroughly enjoyed it.

Eddie the Eagle

I remember Eddie the Eagle as an unlikely olympian who caught the public's imagination by coming last, a very British attitude. It was interesting, therefore, to watch this film and learn the full story, which I accept may have been somewhat dramatised in the film.

The desire of Eddie from a young age to become an olympian was both inspiring and humorous in equal measure. With support from his mother, but absolutely none from his father, he tries a range of sports until he actually gains some expertise at dry slope skiing. Hoping to be selected for the British downhill team he is to be disappointed because, as the story is told, his face didn't fit.

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