Thursday, April 7, 2022

All-star cast helps nurture book-based, war-tinged 'Mothering Sunday'

Way back in September, "Mothering Sunday" was the first movie I watched on the second day of the 46th annual Toronto International Film Festival. Now, finally, it's making some overdue theatrical rounds and premieres Friday at a half-dozen theaters in northeastern Ohio.

The opening credits of this very British, class-conscious period piece simply and understatedly claim it's "with" some actors whose names you just might recognize. In fact, Olivia Colman ("The Favourite"), Colin Firth ("The King's Speech") and Glenda Jackson (both "Women in Love" and "A Touch of Class") all have won Academy Awards, but this post-WWI story centers around a very determined leading lady (Odessa Young), as the lovely young handmaiden who always offers an eyeful -- and plenty more.

Young easily dominates the novel-based proceedings, despite working for the rich and grieving Nivens' family (headed by Firth and Colman) and regularly dallying with their equally wealthy neighbor (Josh O'Connor, himself the Emmy-winning co-star of Colman's on "The Crown"). 

We'll stop here before spilling the beans on where and how the legendary Jackson comes into the engaging picture. Just know that the gorgeous-looking melodrama arrives from director Eva Husson ("Gang Bang") and playwright/screenwriter Alice Birch ("Lady Macbeth"), a formidable combination obviously destined for similarly flashy cinema ahead.

Rated "R" by MPAA: sexual content, graphic nudity and some language; 1:51; $ $ $ and 1/2 out of $5

Among other films opening only in theaters on Friday: "Ambulance," "Everything Everywhere All at Once," and "Sonic The Hedgehog 2." Meanwhile, "All the Old Knives" debuts both in theaters and on Prime Video, with "Cow," a BAFTA-nominated documentary, apparently available in even fewer theaters and On Demand. Finally, "Minamata," one of the features voted among the year's top five Oscar fan favorites of 2021 in a Twitter poll, launches on VOD and digital outlets just about everywhere. 

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