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The War Bride Review

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A cockney seamstress struggles to acclimatise to backwater Alberta and her dour country in-laws, after she marries Canadian serviceman Aden Young following a whirlwind romance

★★★★★

Packed with meaningful glares, unspoken acrimony and suppressed emotions, this ensemble melodrama might have worked better had it been made as a ‘women’s picture’ back in the 1940s.

Inspired by her own mother’s experiences, Angela Workman’s screenplay has the advantage of exploring one of the few uncharted aspects of World War II.

But Cockney seamstress Anna Friel’s struggle to acclimatise to backwater Alberta and her dour country in-laws, after she marries Canadian serviceman Aden Young following a whirlwind romance, always feels as though it’s trapped somewhere between a ‘penny dreadful’ and a teleplay. Brenda Fricker and Molly Parker are stubbornly restrained as Young’s no-nonsense mother and self-pitying, polio-afflicted sister, leaving Friel’s shift from chirpy lovesickness to flinty resentment to bring a flicker of life to the puritanical playing.