2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Wartime conspiracy / costume drama,
This review is from: Glorious 39 [DVD] (DVD)
This wartime costume drama is a couple of years old now, but it's worth watching for Bill Nighy's delightful performance if nothing else. Julie Christie and Jenny Agutter may be somewhat underused, but Nighy is perfect as an aristocratic MP; landed gentry of the old school, faced with an appalling situation as WW2 kicks off and all he holds dear is threatened by another war to end all wars...
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.