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Film Studies 101
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
PG
Cast
Juliet Stevenson
Alan Rickman
Bill Paterson.
Directors
Anthony Minghella.
Screenwriters
Anthony Minghella.
Running Time
106 minutes

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Plot
After the death of her boyfriend, Nina finds it hard to get on with her life - until his ghost appears.


Review

Dubbed by American critics as Blighty's answer to Ghost, this BBC-funded film explores in the reaction of Nina (Stevenson) to the death of her cello-playing lover (Rickman). Distraught and alone, and left with a rat-infested flat and a large therapy bill to pay, she is immediately thrown into a tangle of emotions when he miraculously reappears from the dead in her living room.
 
Actually made long before the success of the Swayze/Moore hit, and set in the less salubrious surroundings of a gloomy North London it is more of a mood piece than a blockbuster. Stevenson carries the film well enough with an emotionally affecting and often uncomfortable portrayal of a woman facing the agony of bereavement, but the whole production shifts from an honest exploration of loss into a something more humorous when the morose ghostly Rickman appears.
 
In a brave directorial debut, Anthony Minghella appears to be trying to unfold the fact that rose-tinted memories of love are often more enthralling that the reality, but Rickman and his band of video-watching ghosts undermine any such serious intention the film may have had. There are also strong cameo roles from Bill Patterson as Nina's amiable employer and Mark Maloney as a wayward admirer.


Verdict
A divisive film - too overwrought for some, perfectly emotionally pitched for others - how much it will appeal will depend on how romantically inclined the viewer is feeling.


Reviewed by William Thomas

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