The sea bird

I spent my time at the New Cinephilia event at Edinburgh Film Fest denying that I write what can be termed “reviews”, and now find myself too washed out from movie-watching to manage anything else. Maybe I can just blame the movies for failing to inspire Profound Thoughts?

ALBATROSS is attractively photographed on the Isle of Mann, boasts engaging performances — a star is born in Jessica Brown Findlay, the Second Coming of Emily Lloyd (can somebody be reincarnated while still alive?). But it doesn’t offer anything particularly new or imaginative. As Michael Powell would fume, “He didn’t teach me anything!” which is a problem in a film partly devoted to teaching, life lessons, education.

Also, while the three main characters played by Findlay, Sebastian Koch and Felicity Jones, are convincing, quirky and appealing, Julia Ormond is forced to play a one-dimensional shrewish wife and the great character actor Peter Vaughan (“Ere I am, JH”) is lumped with a sentimental granddad part that really plumbs the depths of hackneyed rot. Had the film committed to one main character — the story is obviously Findlay’s, but her rightful screen time is devoured by spare protags, which slows the pace — director Niall McCormick might’ve profitably focussed more on his lead without changing the actual script, by exploiting the expressive powers of film, which the film virtually rejects in toto.

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