Set on Mother’s Day in the wake of WWI the story centres on Jane Fairchild (Odessa Young) a young and orphaned maid who has a secret affair with a wealthy lover named Paul Sheringham (Josh O’Connor). It’s strictly a sexual relationship as he explains that he must marry a woman of his own social standing.
Hugely depressing as two of the men in her life die tragically and Jane, who ultimately becomes a prize-winning writer states, “Maybe all the men in my life have to die for me to write a great book!”
This is a slow-burning but exquisitely filmed feature that boasts an incredible set design and costumes of a bygone era.
Audiences may be forgiven for thinking that this British romantic drama would best be categorized as a soft porn feature, as it’s overloaded with erotic sex scenes and so much full-frontal nudity that it’s difficult to recognize the two pivotal actors when they’re fully clothed.
Regardless of this overload of nudity and lovemaking the relationship between them, unfortunately, seems passionless and contrived.
It’s also a challenge trying to keep up with the overutilized technique of non-linear storytelling which must have been a daunting task for the editors working on the film during postproduction. This may be detracting for some audiences, even though the story pieces together in the final sequences.
Colin Firth has a supporting role and Glenda Jackson makes an appearance at the end of the film as the aged Jane Fairchild, her first role in 30 years.
Opening June 2