Thursday, 24 May 2012

ALBATROSS DVD review

Starring Jessica Brown-Findlay and Felicity Jones, this latest film from CinemaNX is now available on DVD.


When rebellious teenager Emelia (Jessica Brown-Findlay) takes a job as a cleaner at a local Bed and Breakfast, she soon makes a huge impact on the family that runs it, in particular the impressionable Oxford hopeful Beth (Felicity Jones) and her writers block suffering father, Jonathan (Sebastian Koch). When Emelia starts an affair with Jonathan, the feelings of the entire family are put at risk.

Albatross is the latest production from CinemaNX, the Isle of Man based production company that have had recent success with Chico and Rita and TT3D: Closer To The Edge. Their rate of success is quite astonishing; in fact, you could argue that at least by percentage, there's more good films coming from the Isle of Man than mainland UK at the moment. This film may show the isle to be an idyllic location, but also shows the inhabitants to be equally frustrated, lonely people with dreams of escaping their situations.


Set on the Isle of Man, Albatross sees the troublemaking Emelia captivated by what appears to be the perfect family unit, housed under the romantic shroud of The Cliff House, the Bed and Breakfast that Jonathan once wrote a successful book about. From a poor background living with her grandparents and suspicious of what she sees at Cliff House, Emelia can't help but want to dig under the surface to reveal the cracks she easily slips into.

Self serving whilst not trying to be evil, Emelia is a great character, played expertly by the relative newcomer Brown-Findlay. With a dress sense that's hard to pin down, she's slightly lost in time. Part Emily Lloyd from Wish You Were Here, part Tamara Drewe and quite a lot Lolita, there's more than a touch of Manic Pixie Dream Girl about her. A wannabe writer wanting to live up to the pedigree of her surname (Conan-Doyle), she seeks the help of Jonathan Fischer to fulfill her artistic desires, eager to make something of herself. Him, tired of being hen-pecked by his wife, relishes the attention he receives from a beautiful young girl.

Arriving in their lives like a whirlwind, Emelia's the key to Jonathan's mid life crisis and Beth's coming of age. Unwilling to face up to their need for change, Emelia is just 
the catalyst the family needed. Avoiding the temptation to go all Single White Female on us, there's a really nice friendship between the two girls, with the shy Beth looking up to the more sexualised Emelia as a positive role model. Beth has existed in that house with her pushy mother (the really quite good Julia Ormond) for too long, and if she's going to become her own person and leave for university, playful minx Emelia may be the one to speed up the process.

Brown-Findlay, best known for her role in Downton Abbey, really impresses in her role as the troubled and occasionally out of her depth Emelia. Along with co-star Felicity Jones (so good recently in Like Crazy), she's another star in the making. Although backed up well by the older members of the cast, the two female leads provide the biggest reason to check this film out, their scenes together the clear highlight.


Verdict




Special Features:
+ Making of
+ Trailer

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