A comedy of manners from Stephen Frears (The Queen, High Fidelity) about young newspaper writer, Tamara Drewe (Gemma Arterton).... More
Tamara returns to her English countryside hometown - stocked with pompous writers, rich weekenders, bourgeois bohemians, a horny rock star, and a great many Buff Orpington chickens and Belted Galloway cows - where her childhood house is being prepped for sale. Remembered as an ugly duckling, Tamara has transformed into a devastating beauty (with a little help from plastic surgery) and her return awakens passion - infatuations, jealousies, love affairs and career ambitions collide among the sleepy inhabitants of the neighbouring farmsteads.Hide
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BY Andrew Hedley Flicks Writer
Tamara Drewe is based on a Guardian comic strip that is itself based on Thomas Hardy’s novel, Far from the Madding Crowd. This third incarnation certainly feels like the results of mulitple adaptations, and while it may be charming and intelligent, it still feels a little ungainly it the way it moves from farce to tragedy and back again.
Quaint English villages are often filled with wealthy city-dwellers, trying to get away from it all but bringing their baggage with them. Here we find writers on a retreat, airing their insecurities, wit, bravado or cowardice amongst each other (or, conversely, hiding it). Veteran director Stephen Frears gives a distinctly British flavour to the proceedings with an expert touch for light comedy.
The piecemeal plot rests on the wholesome shoulders of Tamara herself, winningly played by Gemma Arterton. Her magnetic presence sends the village into a whirlwind of activity, envy and gossip. Equally strong, and longingly looking her way is Tamsin Greig, slightly frumped up here as an under-valued wife.
Tonally, it’s all over the place, and can’t quite be compared to anything else, but Tamara Drewe is a warm, sexy comedy-drama that provides an appealing watch.
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