Most helpful positive review
88 of 90 people found the following review helpful
on 18 May 2005
My Summer Of Love (2005 BAFTA British film of the year amongst other awards) traces the friendship between two very different sixteen year old girls (Mona and Tamsin), drawn together by mutual admiration.
The film is a coming-of-age story based on Helen Cross' poignant novel. Working-class Mona (Press) is struggling to cope with the changing nature of her existence, following her mother's death and the release of her brother from prison - now a born-again Christian who has turned their pub into a religious retreat and is making a giant cross to cleanse their quiet Yorkshire village of evil. Tamsin (Blunt) has similar problems of disillusionment, isolation and family resentment but is from a very different social tier - she is rich, spoilt and finding the long, hot summer a frightful bore.
I sat down to watch this film with the full intention of hating it, but was absorbed by the subtly seductive, hypnotic brilliance of this engaging love story between two young women. You feel a real bond and sincere respect between the two lead characters, at times comical and at others desperately sad. They make the most unlikely of pairs - in one scene we find Tamsin sitting in her mansion playing The Swan on her Double Bass, whilst Mona jokes that she lives above The Swan (name of the aforementioned pub).
This film is many things - it is an intimate story of sexual desire, a religious epitaph, a surreal comedy, but ultimately My Summer Of Love is a story that deals with the harsh realities of life. The imagery is at times uncomfortable; showing you only what you need to see whilst never hiding anything. It is in this that part of the films brilliance and charm lies. It is often graphic but never crass. Sombre yet humorous. Abstract but real. It plays on clichés yet is utterly unpredictable; I've never seen a garden gnome used in such a constructive manner.
Financed by BBC films and written and directed by the hugely talented former BBC documentary-maker Pawel Pawlikowski (The Last Resort), My Summer Of Love is the best British film I have seen, possibly ever. Pawlikowski's use of the camera in exploiting the fine performances of the two young brits is beautiful - perfectly complimented by a lush setting and Goldfrapp's eerie soundtrack. It captures a credible view of life in a dead-end town.
You may read the films synopsis and feel suitably uninspired, but please shed any doubts and don't miss this original and thought-provoking tale - something rare in a world of predictable plots and uninspired Hollywood cash-ins.