Watched Aug 13, 2012
Jeremy Heilman’s review:
Revisiting this haunting family photo album seemed a better way to celebrate Britain than the Olympic closing ceremonies (imagine Davies behind THAT!), yet watching it again reveals my same reservations about it. The film is profound, but I find it uninvolving, perhaps due to some sort of cultural gap. Even still, while there are too many emotional registers at play here for the descriptor "one-note" to feel apt, the key themes (the redemptive power of pop music, the associative nature of memory, the mixture of love and guilt that complicates even the most strained familial relations) come across so forcefully that the sum of the vignettes is something less than parts. The sheer purposefulness of the moments that we see lends them a subtext that distracts. The amber-hued visuals, glacial camera movements and pitch perfect performances display absolute virtuosity, but come at the expense of immediacy. Still a film I can embrace intellectually, and thankfully not tainted by the insistence that we see it all through the eyes of a child protagonist.