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3.3 out of 5 stars162
3.3 out of 5 stars
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on 1 April 2012
Only sixteen five star reviews for this great film compared to twenty one star ratings? This won't do at all!

Make it seventeen five star reviews now - the mark of a good film is how much you 'buy into' or believe in it and if you don't like the actors or the film's concept then nothing will make you like it but for me, I 'bought' into Tamara Drewe very quickly indeed and found an awful lot to enjoy in this film, not least Gemma Arterton's exceptional uh, acting skills. And her short denim shorts.

Tamsin Greig, who was so good as Alice in BBC1s Love Soup series, of course, brings her typical understated style to this likeable, well cast and beautifully directed snapshot of rural England as Beth, the long suffering wife with the eternally philandering hubby played so convincingly by Roger Allam (cue a great moment of horrible honesty from said adulterous husband near the end of the film which doesn't sugarcoat his screwing around at all: scriptwriting genius, I say).

My only complaint is the character of Ben, Tamara's popstar/"rock star" (I use quotes round the words rock star as Ben is a member of a hideously accurate pointless indie band called Swipe), who has an obnoxious attitude more likely to be found in a thuggish penny ante career criminal than a pasty faced Post-Smiths/Oasis Indie "rock" musician (by the way, according to other reviews here, Dominic Cooper's Ben isn't the guitarist in this band, he's the DRUMMER!).

As mentioned before,like that other great British film Love Actually, Tamara Drewe also has moments of realism that counterbalance the humour and the middle england stereotypes and by the end of the film this approach really pays off in this respect so, if you liked films such as Love Actually and Helen Mirren film The Queen then you'll enjoy this film very much.

Its main strength is that it avoids populating the cast with annoyingly twee english caricatures (see Bridget Jones' Diary et al) and director Stephen Frears wisely decided to make the fictitious village of Ewedown that Tamara returns to look permanently warm and sunny and of course, the two bored school girls provide a fabulously amusing commentary on the rest of the villages' inhabitants with their annoying antics. They also have some great dialogue between them, too.

Lastly, before I finish here and head off to get a copy of Thomas Hardy's Far From The Madding Crowd and Posy Simmons Tamara Drewe graphic novel itself, men of a certain age may find here the saucy barmaid Andy Cobb 'romances' a lot more attractive than Tamara herself. Just a thought.....

Buy this film - it's excellent!
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I can see why people have said 'wasted cast' and 'didn't he used to make good movies...' about this Stephen Frears film, but I think that's been a tad harsh. "Tamara Drew" is a rather lovely watch in what is currently a sea of sequels and sewage.

Gemma Arterton continues her rise as a truly British star - she is lucious, soft, and hugely watchable as the lead. The others are all great too and clearly had a laugh making the film in the gorgeous English countryside. The story's better than most, the dialogue is very, very witty in places and the two teenage girls almost nick the picture from the more experienced leads.

OK - it isn't "Love Actually", but it's better than 'The Rebound', 'The Back-Up Plan', 'It's Complicated' and all that insufferably smug rom-com crap that is thrown at us by Hollywood. I thought it had heart.

And it looks beautiful too on Blu Ray.

"Tamara Drew" (like "Wild Target" - see review) is a nice night in. I'd say give it a whirl and never underestimate a nosejob...
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on 10 October 2011
As most viewers are probably aware the story is a loose updating of Hardy's "Far from the madding crowd" and focuses on the amorous machinations in a small Dorset community that are provoked by the return of Tamara Drewe to her home village from metropolitan London.

I am quite surprised at the relatively low rating for this film by other Amazon users. I found it an extremely funny, gently cruel movie, which touches lightly on some of the more confusing and painful truths of life, love, adultery and desire. In focussing upon the misadventures of folk associated with a writers' retreat in the village the viewer can take some comfort from the thought their schadenfreude is at the expense, for the most part, of a very egocentric and often unpleasent group of individuals. Of course the innocent and sympathetic get hurt in the process: that this truth is clearly put gives an appealing edge to the film and marks it out from the general, forgettable horde of rom-coms.

The cast are excellent but special mention must be made of Jessica Barden and Charlotte Christie who are particularly brilliant as the two bored local schoolgirls who act as a sort of Chorus to the antics of the adults of the village.
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on 27 June 2011
A lot of reviews focus on the sunday BBC feel of Tamara Drewe and though there is evidence for this, it's far better than anything you'd find on TV. It's rare that a character piece like this gets a theatrical release and I found it well written, entertaining and well performed throughout. It's no masterpiece but if you like Miss Marple and or Gemma Arterton then you'll like this quirky British comedy quite a lot.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 22 September 2010
This is an enjoyable film but not a remarkable one. Based quite faithfully on Posy Simmonds' 'Guardian' cartoon strip, which eventually became a 'graphic novel', it adapts some elements in Hardy's 'Far from the Madding Crowd' to a modern English rural setting. Tamara returns to the village in which she was brought up to renovate and eventually sell her former home. A kind of voluptuous innocent, she has affairs with Ben Sergeant, a scowling pop guitarist, and Nicholas Hardiment, the fairly loathsome local author (who runs with his unfortunate and much betrayed wife a retreat for aspiring writers). All the while she is idolised by the decent young lad with whom she grew up, Andy Cobb. The guitarist drifts away, the author gets his come-uppance bigtime and all is well at the end.

There are parallels with Hardy in character and situation but not at all in atmosphere. There are moments of genuine pathos in the film, particularly with Hardiment's wife Beth, but it is largely gently humorous, with absurd situations playing off each other to raise a smile. It is always watchable and often funny. On the level of pleasant entertainment, it succeeds.

The film is very well cast and very well made. Gemma Arterton, who has real screen presence, is excellent as Tamara. Roger Allam and Tamsin Greig as the Hardiments are absolutely right for their roles, and indeed Tamsin Greig is one of the big plusses of the film. Bill Camp, Dominic Cooper and Luke Evans are all fine as a kindly American writer, the smouldering guitarist and the decent Gabriel Oak figure. There has to be a special word for Jessica Barden, really first-rate as Jody, a star-struck fifteen-year-old whose adolescent interference sparks some important plot developments. It's well directed by Stephen Frears and the countryside looks just a little to good to be true, which is as it should be in this film.

Recommended? Yes. Should you cancel everything to rush to the cinema to see it? I don't think so ; but it's good.
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VINE VOICEon 12 September 2010
Like many of its characters this film is attractive but flawed.

The story centres around Tamara Drewe, an ugly duckling who becomes a beautiful swan (with the help of a bit of rhinoplasty). She returns to the village of her birth having become a successful journalist who has adopted the metropolitan lifestyle. Not to anyone's great surprise she is seduced to some extent by this rural idyll.

Another important factor in the story is the writer's rtreat run by the wife of a famous crime novelist. Whilst the characters here are a bit clichéd they do provide some good laiughs.

One of the few constants in this tale appears to be inconstancy. Quite honestly fidelity of any sort just seems to fly right out of the door. Sometimes this appears to be justified revenge, but in most cases it does appear to come from a sense of ennui and frustrated ambition.

Now this might make it appear like a rather grim affair, which it clearly is not. The film is essentially a romantic comedy. It is quite light hearted and some of the comedy is excellent, particularly the pursuit of a pop star by a teenage fan.

This is not a great film, and some may dismiss it as an "Aga Saga". However the performances are excellent, and whilst it could have benefited from a bit more comedy, this makes a fine romance.
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on 18 May 2012
"Don't watch that film," is never a reassuring statement when you are about to watch a movie. It appears that my friends found `Tamara Drewe' to be a boring a confusing piece of work that relied on the goodwill of viewer towards the Brit actors. Not one to be deterred by opinion, popular or not, I decided to watch the film anyway. Would I agree with my pal assessment?

`Tamara' is a thoroughly likable film that could not be more British if you placed mini sandwiches around it and watch it at high tea. Based on a cartoon strip, the film centres on a writers retreat in the countryside that is turned upside down when the vibrant Tamara comes to town (village). Although the film is named after Gemma Arterton's Tamara, this is far more an ensemble piece as the likes of Roger Allam's arrogant crime writer and his put upon wife have just as much to do. There are several threads that overlap between the characters with the strands eventually becoming a whole. This method is a little messy at times and you feel the film rambles, but by the end I found it quite charming.

The performances throughout are excellent. It was not the better known actors that caught my eye, but the awkward American writer Glen, played by Bill Camp. He is the real centre of the story as he takes an external view of what is happening, we see things through his point of reference and it is this that makes the conclusion so satisfactory. Steven Frears has always been an eclectic director and `Tamara Drewe' is no different - the film is sloppily put together it seems, but that is its curse and its charm. I found it enjoyable enough for an afternoon's watch, but by no means a classic.

The BluRay is not really essential to see the film as the countryside does not pop as much as it could have done. Frears choses to concentrate on the actors, rather than the scenery. The extras are interesting with the making of giving an insight into how the author saw her work adapted and Frears unorthodox way of directing.
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"Paperback writer (paperback writer)
Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book?
It took me years to write, will you take a look?"
-- The Beatles

Based on a graphic novel this story plays more like a Greek Tragedy. It does not quit fit into any category. Still you will find yourself intrigued and kibitzing. Oh what a tangled web we weave.

Local girl Tamara (Gemma Arterton) gets a new proboscis and body to match. After making good as a journalist she returns to her hometown and plays havoc with the local men folk. And that is not all that is happing in the town. To name a couple, we have a married writer with a wondering uh...err... eye, and a couple of schoolgirls playing out their fantasies.

Be prepared for some colorful descriptive words and some suggestive scenes. The only poignant scene that sort of puts a damper on the presentation is when a main character (four-legged) is dispatched while having a little fun, even if it is relevant to the plot.

I only watched the Blu-ray version so I cannot compare. However the voice over commentary is worth taking the time to listen to. I also have not read the novel but will have to to be sure I did not miss anything.

The Girl Most Likely To . . .DVD ~ Stockard Channing
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VINE VOICEon 6 December 2011
A good British movie in the old style with a contemporary slant (mostly the two girls in the bus shelter and all the internet usage) - I know it sounds like a contradiction, but it works. There are lots of lovely views and some "Ah" moments, but also a good portion of satire and irony, so I guess this film wouldn't go down well in the States.

Classic start: girl comes back to village where she grew up as a big nosed snobette, now she's got a new hooter (and the nickname "Plastic" from the girls). She's going to sell her parent's old house - you can guess what happens there. She makes some unfortunate romantic choices until the right decision comes along.

I loved the writers' retreat set-up a good choice for some amusing cameos. It is a British actors' ensemble fest, everyone working well together. It is a touch like "Midsommer Murders" only without the murders; that is, the character types are there, and the music.

If you want a comfortable giggle in front of the telly, this is the film for you.
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on 30 October 2012
Tamara Drewe [DVD]While the Dorset writers' retreat in the film is advertised as being "far from the madding crowd" and one of the guests is writing a book on Hardy, I didn't spot the glaringly obvious parallels between our heroine, Tamara, and Bathsheba in the Hardy novel - a woman with three admirers striving to be taken seriously et cetera. I was too busy laughing. Humour is a personal thing; I'm not on the same wavelength as the reviewer who said Hot Fuzz was funnier, but my daughter enjoyed this and she doesn't always share my sense of humour. Star of the show for me was Tamsin Greig, who I think is a great comedienne, as the long-suffering wife of a serial adulterer. The humour generated by Dominic Cooper as a spoilt-brat rock drummer and Jessica Barden as a trouble-causing 15-year-old was broad-brush but that was fine. The scenery is chocolate-box but the film didn't advertise itself as stark realism. It was a funny, escapist film, not a work of art worth watching more than once, but I didn't feel I'd wasted two hours.
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