123 of 127 people found the following review helpful
Heartbreaking story with great inner truth and superb performances,
This review is from: Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky [DVD] (DVD)
You have to have a heart of flint not to be in some way touched by this remarkable portrait of the sadness of very ordinary lives. Shot through with poignant 1930s popular song (but not intrusively so) and filmed in muted colours that add to the melancholy atmosphere; this is indeed faithful to Patrick's Hamilton trilogy. The dialogue is vividly naturalistic and is supported by a wealth of subtle, insightful performances including Phil Davis' Mr. Eccles, whose thwarted courtship of Ella is itself a performance of searing loneliness, and Zoe Tapper as the feckless, easily led Jenny in drink fuelled free fall. Special mention must, however, be given to Sally Hawkins as Ella, enduring the agonies of living in close proximity to the subject of her unrequited love. Her remarkably expressive face captures psychological depth and turmoil to an extraordinary degree and the omission of this performance from the Baftas show that they have ceased to be anything more than marketing events.
This is a heartbreaking story but there is also a warmth and wonderful humour (as well as a sharp ear for ordinary dialogue)that makes this considerably more than a period piece. Quite wonderful - I would also recommend the book .