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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
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Good 3 Stars
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Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12A
Cast
Romola Garai
Bill Nighy.
Directors
Stephen Poliakoff.
Screenwriters
Stephen Poliakoff.
Running Time
129 minutes

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Glorious 39
Stephen Poliakoff’s political family drama set in, well, 1939


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Plot
An idyllic pre-war Summer in the British countryside is ruined for the eldest daughter of the Keyes family when she discovers conspiracy and possibly treason closer to home than she thinks.


Review
Glorious 39
Doyen of TV period drama, Stephen Poliakoff’s return to the big screen is occasionally inspired but often flawed. The Elysian setting — a final, sun-touched summer of peace spent by influential MP Alexander Keyes (Bill Nighy) and his family in Norfolk — is well-crafted, but gives way to a dizzying plot when adopted daughter Anne (Atonement’s Romola Garai) stumbles upon a violent conspiracy involving some LPs, a cabal of appeasers, and a grumpy Jeremy Northam.

Garai is spellbinding, as Poliakoff builds tension against a backdrop of golden cornfields and jazz-filled salons, but the MacGuffin stretches belief beyond breaking point, distracting from a potent tale of identity.


Verdict
Stupendous turn from Romola Garai in the lead role but, while this sets up intrigue and atmosphere well, the plot devices creak audibly towards the end.


Reviewed by Phil de Semlyen

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Glorious 39
Empire Star Rating

Surprisingly good

The ending is a bit muddled but otherwise this is a great little wartime conspiracy thriller. Garai is terrific as usual. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Caster at 19:50, 03 May 2010 | Report This Post


Nah, Didn't Like It.

Title says all, I didn't enjoy or like this film at all. Found it slow, boring and hardly grabbed my attention at all. The acting was so-so, too overlong and the music seemed like something out of a theatre show instead of a movie. I wouldn't really recommend it. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by joanna likes films at 14:01, 02 May 2010 | Report This Post


Nah, Didn't Like It.

Title says all, I didn't enjoy or like this film at all. Found it slow, boring and hardly grabbed my attention at all. The acting was so-so, too overlong and the music seemed like something out of a theatre show instead of a movie. I wouldn't really recommend it. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by joanna likes films at 14:01, 02 May 2010 | Report This Post


A wartime mystery and a psychological thriller fail to gel completely in the new film from Stephen Poliakoff. Theres a touch too much of the BBC Sunday afternoon drama about it to make it cinematic, and the stilted stage acting jars a little ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by duncan1964 at 09:33, 10 February 2010 | Report This Post


No rating

Disappointed, because I love Stephen Poliakoff's work. Maybe he's better suited to the small screen? (I haven't seen the film yet, why do I have to give a rating?) ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by stevos at 10:28, 16 November 2009 | Report This Post


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