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Glorious 39 [DVD] 
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Stephen Poliakoff writes and directs this tense conspiracy thriller set in rural Norfolk in the days leading up to the outbreak of World War II. Romola Garai stars as Anne, a beautiful young actress with a seemingly perfect life: adored eldest daughter of prominent Tory politician Alexander Keyes (Bill Nighy), she is passionately in love with Foreign Office official Lawrence (Charlie Cox). As the storm clouds of war gather on the horizon, Anne stumbles upon some secret recordings of government meetings that reveal dark secrets about Britain's relationship with Nazi Germany, and soon finds herself inextricably caught in a tangled web of deceit and betrayal.
In Glorious 39, acclaimed Writer/ Director Stephen Poliakoff has crafted a tense psychological thriller set against the idyllic British countryside during the glorious summer of 1939, just before the outbreak of the Second World War.
Anne, a budding young actress, stumbles across secret recordings of a sinister plot to appease the Nazis. As close friends die in suspicious circumstances, she finds herself swept into a web of dark secrets and in increasing danger from a powerful and menacing enemy. With her most precious certainties destroyed and unable to trust even those closest to her, she comes to realise the full extent of her own betrayal and vulnerability.
Featuring a stellar ensemble cast of leading British actors: award-winning British actress Romola Garai (Atonement), alongside BAFTA – winning actor Bill Nighy (Love Actually), Academy Award® - winning actress Julie Christie (Finding Neverland), Eddie Redmayne (The Other Boleyn Girl), David Tennant (Dr. Who), Charlie Cox (Stardust), Jeremy Northam (Gosford Park), Juno Temple (Atonement) and the legendary Christopher Lee (Lord of The Rings). Glorious 39 “delivers intrigue and suspense with masterful control” (Psychologies magazine).
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Top Customer Reviews
I was expecting more in the way of a regular "late period drama" with a formulaic theme. I'd forgotten about Poliakoff's flair and gift for amazing twists and hidden shadows.
The performances are superb - and hardly surprising really. Romola Garai is excellent in the lead role as Anne - but with the likes of Bill Nighy, Christopher Lee, David Tennant, Jenny Agutter, Julie Christie et al; she is never alone!
The film sits on a bed of sinister intrigue and weaves a tangled web of curious agendas as Britain moves towards war.
I am in no doubt that it is a film that demands more than one viewing - it leaves more questions than answers.
Highly recommended; a truly thought provoking film.
This film written and directed by Stephen Poliakoff is about one upper class family and the secrets that are kept hidden. Anne who is the eldest child of the family, but also adopted finds out something that she shouldn't have. From this her idyllic life takes a turn for the worse. If like me you have gone on quite normally in life and then it has been changed by events outside your control then you will readily identify with this movie. Also this is one of the beauties of this film, as when you first start watching it it seems just like a family saga, then it turns into a thriller which is almost Hitchcockian.
There are also a few scenes in this that border on the surreal. The acting is top-notch, although the film does seem a bit clunky in a couple of places. All in all though this is a great film that will have you thinking about the war long after it has finished.Read more ›
The story is tolds from the perspective of his adopted daughter, a young film actress, who has led a fabulous life on the family's estate and London mansion, growing up with younger siblings in an idyllic setting. She stumbles on what appears to be some kind of conspiracy within the government; a friend commits suicide; she investigates further and suddenly everything she knows is thrown out of kilter.
The result is an enjoyable romp, even if the plot itself is somewhat far-fetched. Nighy's discreet, understated performance starkly contrasts with the heroine's increasingly hysterical, paranoid squeaking. The backdrop of wartime Britain isn't entirely convincing - the country estate far better realised than London suburbs, for instance - but Christopher Lee adds significant weight to the narrative with a short but solomn turn.
The are some distinctly dippy plot-holes (like why a murderer would leave a corpse hanging around to be found; or why the bad guys would ever have bothered to destabilise the heroine during a family picnic) but overall the action clips along at a decent pace so you don't find yourself questioning those moments until afterwards. In the meanwhile, the photography, costumes and props are delightful.
In its own way, this is kind of a precursor to Downton: posho types doing their thing in grand surroundings against the backdrop of big world events.
But Glorious 39 lacks the character development of Downton and also the suspense of Caught On A Train, as well as the comedy of Auf Wiedersehen.
Christopher Lee excels in this, everyone else just kinda floats past in a cloud of aristocratic meh. If it was a play you'd snooze until the interval and then bail. If it was a book you'd be "like, wha'?" and swerve at page six, or after the dirty bits. As a film it borders on pointless. I'm not an expert on 1930s posho accents or idioms but the dialogue here lacks authenticity and I'm fairly sure a lot of it is anachronistic.
Disappointing all round really.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I enjoyed this production from the BBC stable about the machinations that were going on under neath the surface of society in the lead up to WW2 and the select group of the... Read morePublished 22 days ago by Oscar Freak
a good british war time drama. the ending was a bit confusing perhaps the story was trying to be too clever for its own good. unusual but worth seeing.Published 26 days ago by mary campbell
This is a good film that I gave someone as a gift. They haven't said much about it so I can only award it three stars as I have not seen it myself.Published 1 month ago by dollydip
Maybe a little bit strange but I find this a good story. Iliked it very much.Published 1 month ago by Ilse
Great film, a bit of a slow burner to begin with, but stick with it, it's worth every minute!Published 3 months ago by Dawn Mann
Great Film excellent acting - I think it is quite true this story!!!!!Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer