Saturday, June 2, 2012

ALBATROSS: Jessica Brown Findlay shines in Niall MacCormick's & Tamzin Rafn's film

A quick post today to give you a heads-up on a lovely little movie titled ALBATROSS that most of us missed when it opened (briefly, in a very limited theatrical run) to mixed reviews and not much business. As coming-of-agers go, this one is up there with the better ones, thanks to immaculate perfor-mances all round; a light, speedy directorial touch from Niall MacCormick (The Song of Lunch); and a smart, spiffy screenplay debut from Tamzin Rafn. A young, free-spirited lass comes to work as a cleaning girl at a bed-and-breakfast run by a couple and their daughter, who's on the cusp of an Oxford education. 

Not much happens, yet the movie seems to gallop along, due to the sensible understanding of character by the writer and director, and especially by spot-on acting from all. Sebastian Koch (above, of The Lives of Others) makes a randy, lazy but still quite likable dad; Julia Ormond is his angry, put-upon wife; and Felicity Jones (below, left, and currently in Hysteria) is the shy daughter. All three are just fine, but the movie justifiably belongs to Jessica Brown Findlay (below, right), who manages to make her "free spirit" as beautiful and special, layered with sadness and desire, as any you've seen. We didn't even recognize this actress, who plays Lady Sybil (the daughter on Downton Abbey who's being courted by that chauffeur) until we checked out her name on the IMDB. Ms Findlay turns a very good film into a must-see. 

Albatross is available now on DVD and high-def streaming -- from Netflix and elsewhere.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I live in the US where the movie was never released. I found it because I was looking for pre-Downton Jessica Brown Findlay movies. Albatross is one of my favorite movies. It is both intelligent and funny. Everyone connected with Albatross should take a bow.

James van Maanen said...

Thanks for the comment, Anonymous. This movie was actually released theatrically here in the US -- but in very limited fashion. (I know it opened here in NYC.)
I first noticed it on the shelf of NEW RELEASES at Blockbuster a year or so back (when that crappy company was still serving New York). And then it appeared on Netflix's streaming service. You're right: Everyone connected with it should indeed take a bow!