Thursday, December 08, 2011

The Song of Lunch (11/13/11-Masterpiece Contemporary) TV-PBS

A 1 hour screen play following a narrative poem of the same name by Christopher Reid. Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson play former lovers. Fifteen years have passed since their love affair ended. They meet for lunch, their first since separation. She is affable and sensitive from the start, and he awkward, then dour, then disconnected altogether, dominated by everyone and everything, even the wine. Their lives have been wholly different in the intervening years. She's well married to a successful author and appears happy and robust. His poems never found much of an audience and his days working for a publisher are taken up with the literary failings of other writers, or, perhaps worse, the occasional discovery of a new and brilliant manuscript. What the heck was he thinking when he invited her? This is a film about a man with inside voices, not crazy and psychotic voices, but inside voices. He is so caught up with himself that even in the presence of the one person who has given him the most joy in his life, and most erotic joy at that, he chooses to get drunk. Filmed from the back and revisited several times, you are there with him in their lovemaking long past. And that's the point. He's never moved on. Lunch together would be just the time to clear away a few sore spots that might remain, replacing them with small affections. But that is not to be. Rickman and Thompson are masterful. Watching their faces is to take in a parallel script, not always compatible with their lines. This is an accomplished little film, with some clever surprises. Sexual intimacy is a central element of the plot and the on-screen sex most effective. What's also remarkable is its appearance on broadcast TV on Sunday evening. This film is also available on line. This is a film that encourages us to not spend many years thinking and drinking away the lost sexual and intimacy pleasures. This is a film that illustrates the failure that results from not changing the inside voices. Submitted by David R. 12/7/11

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