Director: Michael Winterbottom
Writer: John Forte
Cast: Christopher Eccleston, Dervla Kirwan, Yvan Attal, Alun Armstrong, Julie Graham,
Michael Winterbottom is one of the UK directors who has demonstrated a consistent ability to surprise and stand out.
In this romantic drama with a twist, Vince (CHRISTOPHER ECCLESTON) a dour and suspicious ex-RUC man and Rosie (DERVLA KIRWAN) are a familiar couple living in Belfast. Having been married for several years and known each other for many more before then, they rub along together trying for a family and living the lives of 30-somethings. Despite the usual small irritations and the bigger issues of hating your job, their relationship seems relatively content. That is until the arrival of a former pen pal of Rosie, a Frenchman named Benoit (YVAN ATTAL) whom she has not been in contact with for years arrives unannounced having decided to start a new life. As he and Rosie recall adolescent dreams Vincent begins to see him as the guest who won’t leave. While memories and dreams are recalled by the old friends confusion and jealousy consumes Vincent, raising uncomfortable questions, and smaller issues suddenly seem to take on greater significance, as his romantic and witty persona clash with Vince’s brooding.
One of Winterbottom’s strengths lies in getting the most from his actors and here reunited with Christopher Eccleston (who starred in Jude as well as 24 Hour Party People) Michael Winterbottom elicits striking performances that enable the emotions to shine.