Dreaming of Joseph Lees is the quintessential little movie, British style. It is a beautifully photographed movie played by a cast of genuine actors you probably never heard of. The setting is rural England (actually photographed on the Isle of Man) in the late 1950's. It is a love story with a classic triangle. There is not a wasted scene, not a wasted moment.
Eva is a young woman who dreams romantically of an older second cousin, Joepth Lees, she remembers from when she was a girl. Joseph is a geologist who works in Italy where he lost a leg in a quarry accident. Eva thinks about him a lot, has heard about him from time to time but has not seen him in many years. In the meantime, she has come of age, has finished school and works in a lumber mill while also caring for her elderly father and younger sister. One of the local boys who works at the mill and tends his farm, Harry, is interested in Eva and lets her know repeatedly in a rather crude way. Eventually, seeing no other hope for male companionship, she moves in with Harry. Guess who shows up at that point? The remainder of the movie is Eva's emotional see-saw as she tries to decide between Joseph and Harry. There are hints (some metaphoric, some unexpected, some both) as to outcome along the way. She finally chooses, and the movie ends as it must. Although some things about the movie do not quite ring true (they could not, at least, have happened in rural America during the same time period), it is a good period piece. Someone suggested it is not a subtle movie but neither the sex nor the violence, both are present, are played strongly. By American standards the movie is subtle. Nothing is blown up in a ball of fire. Most of the blood is just from a nosebleed. There are no gimmicks. The movie rides on the photography, the acting and the story, just like any movie should.
And how are those features? The photography is superb. The acting is flawless. The story is good, certainly good enough to make a worthwhile vehicle for the visuals and for the acting.