A powerful return to the past through characters that sing and are merry, but beneath the surface there is unhappiness and melancholy. An open front door features early in the film and we see through it as if this were the lens through which we see this family, from deaths to marriages, all pass through this door and we watch on looking into the past. Brilliant film that feels so real we feel like voyeurs looking on.
Davies has given us a gift of a musical with an unerring camera documenting an imperfect world. The lack of camera movement gives such a sense of calm as to nearly unnerve us in moments of horror with stories revolving around the nucleus of a patriarchal terror or the same lives in a world without him. We cope with these people through music, one can't help but want to sing with them as we face our own tribulations.
Nuevamente Davies dialoga con dos tiempos: el pasado y el presente. Sus personajes, una familia de clase trabajadora, atormentada por un padre que castiga, pero que en ocasiones sorprende con ternura y hasta redención. Hay una necesidad por manifestar una dicotomía, el amor y el odio, como el que sienten sus hijos hacia el padre. La luz juega un rol interesante. Los protagonistas siempre andan en penunbra, lo trágico
Sing-along cinema. Everything that we see and, specially, hear in this movie has the shape and feel of events sifted through memory. Terence Davies uses music to build remembrance and develops a masterful way of framing to bring those distant echos to the inside of the still frames of his (said-to-be) family life. The final result is not perfect, sometimes uneven, but it certainly is painfully beautiful.
completely floored me. freda dowie's character possibly greatest depiction of dignity in age besides alvin straight. also sort of marvellously beyond description (non-linear, fragmented, fake-auto-bio, stream-of-whatever). seldom ever seeming too much directed at all, except for when it is: christmas sequence one of most beautiful takes oat.
This is a very moving and personal look at a family that would have been too harrowing to watch if it were not for the genuine compassion of Terence Davies for the characters and his brilliant and innovative use of the musical score.The score provides a soft focus lens for the brutality of the patriarch of the family and the ongoing consequences in addition to an accurate timeframe for the unfolding drama.
I feel this film was excellent in parts and at others got the tone badly wrong. the first section was almost relentless in the sorrow it presented and this sort of overwhelmed me at the time. the performances were excellent and some of the framing was masterly. the need for songs every five seconds also seemed a bit too contrived. compared to a similar format of autobiography in Tarkovsky, it lacks somewhat.