This is a good-looking but ultimately unsatisfying film. The story, based on a work by H.E. Bates, seems a pastiche of 19th century melodrama; you wait for an original twist - but in vain. The cast work hard at it and, as I say, the production is well upholstered, and that gets you through to the end. Fans of the television versions of Catherine Cookson romances may enjoy the film - for some familiar faces in the cast - but they are likely to feel it pales by comparion. James Purefoy, it should be said, for those who admire his work, is not on screen for long - and his character is purely conventional. The film rides or stumbles on the performance of Embeth Davidtz. Personally I find her acting range quite restricted. She seems unaffected by events around her and thus leaves me unaffected by her character.