I thought at first this film would be boring, as the cover looks dated and I thought it would be one of those run-of-the mill period dramas, but it turned out to be one of the best films I've seen in a long time. Maggie Smith and Michael Palin head an all-star cast with some of the best of the British actors and actresses, including Liz Smith, Bill Paterson and Richard Griffiths.
The story revolves around the black market of the meat industry, with all of the villagers trying to sneak a little "under the table" here and there, whilst the Inspector (Bill Paterson) is hot on their trail. This is intertwined with the story of Mr and Mrs Average (Palin and Smith), the wife desperately wanting to better her place in society and make connections. Add to that the hilarious smuggling of a live pig and some of the best acting in British cinematic history, and this film is definitely a winner. Far from being just another period drama, it actually is probably a very accurate depiction of how people back then had the same despairs and ambitions as those of us now, albeit in a different environment. It made me laugh, cry, despair and finally applaud a story that literally comes to life with such a brilliant cast. Especially funny is Liz Smith, who plays the slightly senile mother. A must-see.