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Man in an Orange Shirt

UK, English, 120 mins

  • Director: Michael Samuels
  • Writer: Patrick Gale
  • Producer: Diederick Santer

CGiii Comment

Two stories tenuously linked...by autobiographical threads...

Act 1: 

A richly-woven, beautiful and agonising, WW2 love story...that gently unfurls and will crack the hardest of hearts. There is a delicacy to this collision of lives and loves...that is, until the wife-of-convenience finds out! Sparks fly...as paths are dictated rather than chosen...

If only Patrick Gale had stuck to this time period throughout...rather than jumping a generation to contemporary London...quite bamboozling!

Act 2:

Can we forget that this threadbare, over-worked 'act' exists?!?

A 35 year old, privileged, veterinarian, living for free in his Grandma's luxurious basement - in one of the better postal codes that London has to offer...gets gifted a cottage in one of the better counties that England has to offer...and yet, he still moans and [literally] scrubs his homosexual shame away!

But...that guilt and shame doesn't stop him from shagging everything that a gayApp has to offer!

At no point is this character remotely believable...neither is his sidekick...who utters lines like: I want you - and, duly explains - that being 100% exclusive - he can't share his [new] lover with any of his gayApp hook-ups...even though he's just come out of an 'open relationship' with an older, wealthy man - who just happens to be an art dealer - crucial for the story's [contrived] conclusion!

This quagmire of moaning, middle-class homosexuality is Patrick Gale's tired trademark...it bears no relevance - for the vast majority - in the here and now.

Have things not improved for 'the homosexual' in light of the [partial] decriminalisation way back in 1967? Not according to this! This kind of states that gay men were happier then...than gay men are now! Quite bamboozling! Or, a worrying reflection on the times!

As the show-piece production for the BBC's Gay Britannia series...expectations ran high...and, Act 1 delivered. Can we just forget that Act 2 exists?!?


The(ir) Blurb...

“Two love stories, sixty years apart, chart the challenges and huge change to gay lives from the Second World War to the present: In 1944, British Army Captain Michael Berryman (Cohen) meets war artist Thomas March (McArdle) in Southern Italy while chaos reigns all around them.

“Despite having a young fiancé, Flora (Vanderham), waiting at home for him, straight-laced Michael finds himself falling for Thomas’ bohemian charms.

“In 2017, an ageing Flora (Redgrave) looks on as her grandson, Adam (Morris), tentatively forms a relationship with his client Steve (Gyasi) in a more accepting world.

“But while the external obstacles have fallen away, a minefield of internalised issues and dangerous temptations still line the road to happiness.”

Cast & Characters

Julian Morris as Adam;
Vanessa Redgrave as Flora;
David Gyasi as Steve;
Tommy Bastow as Bates;
Phil Dunster as Bruno;
Babajide Fado as Lorry Driver;
James McArdle as Thomas March;
Mark Sears as Muscled Man;
Arthur Wilde as Bar patron

Due to the massive amounts of spam we receive, the comments section is curated...so, no spam, no swearing, nothing unrelated to the film...they just won't be published! Time is precious, let's not waste it!

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