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In the Bleak Midwinter

Country: UK, Language: English, 99 mins

  • Director: Kenneth Branagh
  • Writer: Kenneth Branagh
  • Producer: David Barron; Iona Price

CGiii Comment

Oh dear, luvvies...made by the golden boy of the time, Branagh pokes fun at his less-than-successful contemporaries...and, the joke wears very thin after next-to-no-time.

The clichés and stereotypes abound amid a laboured script that elicits preposterous performances...Sessions' camp behaviour and his drag Gertrude are disasters.

The few genuine moments of tenderness and plausibility are lost due to the heavy handedness, the wringing of lines for every available laugh is exhausting.

The actual 'Hamlet' performance is quite funny - shame it took so long to get there...and, it was all too brief.


Trailer...

The(ir) Blurb...

Out of work actor Joe volunteers to help try and save his sister's local church for the community by putting on a Christmas production of Hamlet, somewhat against the advice of his agent Margaretta. As the cast he assembles are still available even at Christmas and are prepared to do it on a 'profit sharing' basis (that is, they may not get paid anything) he cannot expect - and does not get - the cream of the cream. But although they all bring their own problems and foibles along, something bigger starts to emerge in the perhaps aptly named village of Hope.

Cast & Characters

Richard Briers as Henry Wakefield;
Hetta Charnley as Molly;
Joan Collins as Margaretta D'Arcy;
Nicholas Farrell as Tom Newman;
Mark Hadfield as Vernon Spatch;
Gerard Horan as Carnforth Greville;
Celia Imrie as Fadge;
Michael Maloney as Joe Harper;
Jennifer Saunders as Nancy Crawford;
Julia Sawalha as Nina Raymond;
John Sessions as Terry Du Bois;
Ann Davies as Mrs. Branch;
James D. White as Tim;
Robert Hines as Mortimer;
Allie Byrne as Tap Dancer