Maybe it’s just the films that make it over here, but I’ve loved every film from Scotland that I’ve seen over the last while. The latest one is Dear Frankie, directed by Shona Auerbach, who also was Director of Photography. The film is built around the characters and the wonderful performances that the actors give. The key is in the writing which sets up a dramatic situation that highlights a story about a family dealing with a secret. Emily Mortimer is a mother who hasn’t told her son that she is estranged from his father. She has told him that his father is away at sea and corresponds with her son as his father. But when the ship that she chose is coming in to port and she has to decide what to do.
While the plot moves the characters around, the film lingers on the characters as we watch them struggle with their lives. I loved the look of the film and the pace, which allows us to watch performances and interactions between characters. Mortimer is wonderful and much of her performance is in her face and body language. One of the things that I’ve been enjoying in many recent films is messiness in situations and characters. Things aren’t neat and tidy, but with ambiguity and suggestion. I like it when you get a sense of watching something unfold… it’s a better approximation of reality than so-called “reality” television. Dear Frankie is a great film about unconditional love.
tags: film, review, dearfrankie