The Winter Guest 1997

the winter guest

The only directorial entry so far from actor Alan Rickman (there’s a second on the way), this adaptation of Sharman MacDonald’s play is a sensitive, beautifully told drama of small-town Scottish life. Recently widowed photographer Frances (Emma Thompson) is planning a migration to Australia when her mother Elsbeth comes to visit. Played by Phyllida Law, Elsbeth is concerned about her daughter’s listlessness; as the sea freezes over, a conflict emerges between the women, and a sense of understanding. The Winter Guest balances analysis of this mother/daughter power-struggle with the exploits of her son (Gary Hollywood) as he warders the beach, with Tom (Sean Biggerstaff) amongst those he encounters. Macdonald’s ability to accurately observe several generations serves her well in this intense, yet sometimes whimsical chamber piece, with wonderful photography by Seamus McGarvey.

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