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Summerland

Country: UK, Language: English, 100 mins

  • Director: Jessica Swale
  • Writer: Jessica Swale
  • Producer: Guy Heeley; Adrian Sturges

CGiii Comment

Secluded in her picturesque countryside cottage, Alice toils away at her academic thesis on pagan myths while the rest of the world is in turmoil. The Second World War rages, yet its impact is barely felt by the solitary and prickly writer. Unmarried, she attracts the consternation of local villagers and is tormented by their children. Nursing a heartache from her past, Alice would quite like the world to leave her alone, but it has very different plans for her – in the form of Frank, an evacuee from London. Initially determined to be rid of this interloper, the guilelessness of youth soon breaks though Alice’s tough exterior. The boy opens old wounds with innocent questions about Alice’s past. Through flashbacks, we see the reason for her pain – an all-consuming love affair with the decadent Vera (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), which unfolded when both women were barely out of their teens and everything seemed possible. Swale’s rapturous feature debut is a heartfelt rumination on the power of love, set against a beautifully-shot Kent coastline. Arterton has rarely been better as the fiercely independent Alice, coming to terms with her past and finally setting herself free for a future she could only dream about.

Emma Smart


Trailer...

Cast & Characters

Gemma Arterton as Alice
Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Penelope Wilton
Lucas Bond as Frank
Dixie Egerickx as Edie
Amanda Root as Mrs. Lawrence
Jessica Gunning as Mrs. Bassett
David Horovitch as Albert
Tom Courtenay as Mr. Sullivan
Siân Phillips as Margaret Corey
Amanda Lawrence as Muriel
Sally Scott as Miss Poskitt
Martina Laird
Karl Farrer as Charleston Dancer
Ty Hurley as Father at Train Station