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Summerland (12A)

Cast: Gemma Arterton, Sir Tom Courtenay, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Penelope Wilton
Genre: Drama
Author(s): Jessica Swale
Director: Jessica Swale
Release Date: 31/07/2020 (selected cinemas)
Running Time: 100mins
Country: UK
Year: 2020

During the Second World War, Alice Lamb is a loner in a close-knit Kent community, where she devotes her time to investigating folklore and debunking myths. Without warning, London Blitz evacuee Frank is placed into Alice's care as part of Operation Pied Piper. At first, Alice resents being left to care for a stranger when she would rather be alone. Over time, the boy reawakens Alice's sense of adventure and she dares to confront deeply buried feelings for the last person to touch her heart.


 

LondonNet Film Review
Summerland (12A)

Taking its title from Norse mythology’s notion of heaven as an astral plane where souls linger invisibly after they depart the mortal realm, Summerland is an elegantly constructed drama set on the Kent coast under threat from the Luftwaffe. Olivier Award-winning playwright Jessica Swale makes her feature film directorial debut with a self-penned meditation on womanhood and female empowerment, broadening her canvas beyond the confines of the stage to ebb and flow between three timeframes: 1926, 1940 and 1975. She reunites with Gemma Arterton and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who both starred in her boisterous and bawdy 2016 play Nell Gwynn, to chart forbidden romance in a time of conflict and self-sacrifice, when two women in love was considered wickedness and a sin…

The lead actresses catalyse simmering on-screen chemistry and Swale reflects discriminatory behaviour towards the couple in gentle brush strokes without labouring the point. Salty humour punctuates the measured introspection – an opening punchline about Help The Aged sets the tone magnificently – delivered with impeccable timing by an ensemble British cast that includes national treasures Sir Tom Courtenay and Dame Penelope Wilton.

Alice Lamb (Arterton) lives alone in a remote cottage in a close-knit community not far from the white cliffs of Dover, where anyone who dares to set themselves apart from the gossip-mongering crowd risks being labelled a Nazi spy. She devotes her waking hours to investigating folklore, using rigorous science to dispel the existence of magic. Alice’s current fascination is the fata morgana optical illusion named after enchantress Morgan le Fay from Arthurian legend, which causes mirages of islands and cities to shimmer in the sky. She is rudely dragged away from her thesis by the unexpected arrival of rosy-cheeked London Blitz evacuee Frank (Lucas Bond) as part of Operation Pied Piper.

Alice refuses to take the boy but local do-gooder Mrs Lawrence (Amanda Root) strikes a deal: “If you really can’t find it in your heart to keep him, bring him to the school in a week and we’ll make arrangements. A week, that’s all.” Frank’s sense of wonder, untainted by cynicism or grief, slowly penetrates Alice’s prickly exterior and reawakens her sense of adventure. She dares to unlock bittersweet memories of studying history in Oxford alongside the last person to stake a claim to her wounded heart: Vera Wilbond (Mbatha-Raw).

Summerland makes splendid use of sun-dappled Kent locations as a backdrop to Alice’s soul-searching. Still waters run deep in Arterton’s purse-lipped curmudgeon, providing the actress with a rich and fulfilling character arc. Young co-star Bond is an endearing foil. Plot machinations in the film’s tear-drenched final third skirt perilously close to emotionally manipulative contrivance but Swale retains a firm grip on the rudder to chart a satisfying course back to calmer emotional waters.

– Sarah Lee


London Cinemas Showing Summerland


From: Friday 31st July
To: Thursday 6th August

Curzon Mayfair

Tue 20:45; Wed 15:15 18:00; Thu 16:45 19:45

Everyman Chelsea

Wed 13:15; Thu 15:45 18:30

Everyman Crystal Palace

Wed 17:15; Thu 17:00 20:15

Everyman Hampstead

Wed 17:45; Thu 15:15

Everyman King’s Cross

Fri/Tue 18:00; Sat 18:15; Sun 17:30; Mon 16:15; Wed 17:45; Thu 15:30

Everyman Maida Vale

Wed 18:00; Thu 21:00

Genesis Cinema

Fri 13:30 18:10; Sat 13:35 18:10; Sun 13:00 18:10; Mon 13:35 18:20; Tue 13:15 17:30; Wed 13:25 17:30; Thu 13:10 17:30

From: Friday 7th August
To: Thursday 13th August

Curzon Mayfair

Fri/Mon 13:30; Sat/Tue 19:45; Sun 16:45; Wed 16:30; Thu 14:15

Curzon Victoria

Fri/Sat 13:00 19:00; Sun 12:45 18:30; Mon 13:30 19:00; Tue 13:15 18:45; Wed 15:15 19:00; Thu 14:30 19:30

Everyman Chelsea

Fri 17:15; Sat 12:30 18:15; Sun 20:15; Mon/Tue 14:30; Wed 20:30

Everyman Crystal Palace

Fri 15:30; Sat 18:15; Sun 14:30; Mon 20:00; Tue/Thu 14:00 (Tue) 17:00; Wed 17:45

Everyman Hampstead

Fri 14:15; Mon 17:45; Tue 18:00; Wed 14:45

Everyman King’s Cross

Fri 18:00; Sat 13:15; Tue 15:15; Wed 15:30

Everyman Maida Vale

Fri 17:00; Sun 17:30

Genesis Cinema

Sat 18:00; Sun 15:30 18:15; Mon 17:45; Tue 13:00; Thu 13:20

Rio

Fri/Sat 20:00

Riverside Studios

Fri/Sun/Tue/Thu 17:45

UK and Irish Cinemas Showing Summerland


From: Friday 31st July
To: Thursday 6th August

Central Cinema

Tue-Thu 16:45 19:00

Central Cinema Fakenham

Fri/Mon-Thu 19:30; Sat/Sun 15:30

Cinemac

Sat/Sun 19:45; Mon/Thu 19:30

Curzon Canterbury

Wed 14:00 18:30; Thu 14:00 19:10

Curzon Richmond

Wed/Thu 13:30 (Wed) 16:15

Everyman Barnet

Wed 18:00; Thu 17:30

Everyman Bristol

Wed 18:30; Thu 17:00

Everyman Chelmsford

Wed 15:40 18:30; Thu 15:15 18:30

Everyman Esher

Wed 17:00 20:00; Thu 16:00 19:45

Everyman Gerrards Cross

Wed 17:45; Thu 16:30

Everyman Harrogate

Wed 14:00 20:15; Thu 14:00 20:30

Everyman Horsham

Wed 16:50; Thu 16:00 20:00

Everyman Leeds

Wed 14:15 20:00; Thu 17:45 20:00

Everyman Oxted

Tue/Thu 15:30 (Thu) 20:45; Wed 15:00 20:15

Everyman Reigate

Wed 17:30; Thu 17:45

Everyman Stratford-Upon-Avon

Wed 18:15; Thu 15:30

Everyman Winchester

Wed 17:30; Thu 17:45

Parkway Cinema

16:20 20:00

Parkway Cinema

Fri/Tue-Thu 13:40 20:00; Sat 17:15 20:00; Sun 14:45 17:10; Mon 13:35 20:00

Radway Cinema

Wed 14:00 19:30; Thu 20:10

Reel Cinema Borehamwood

Fri/Mon-Thu 17:30; Sat/Sun 18:30

Reel Cinema Chippenham

Fri/Mon-Thu 18:00; Sat/Sun 18:15

Reel Cinema Chorley

Fri/Mon-Thu 18:00; Sat/Sun 18:15

Reel Cinema Fareham

Fri/Mon-Thu 18:00; Sat/Sun 18:15

Reel Cinema Widnes

Fri/Mon-Thu 18:00; Sat/Sun 18:15

Regal Film Centre

Tue/Thu 19:00

Ritz

17:15 20:00

Savoy

Tue-Thu 16:30 19:30 (Tue/Thu)

Scott Cinemas

Tue-Thu 16:50 19:30 (Wed/Thu)

Scott Cinemas Bristol, Westbury Park

Tue-Thu 16:30 19:15 (Thu)

Showcase Cardiff Nantgarw

Tue-Thu 17:15 (Wed) 20:10

Showcase Cinema De Lux Derby

Wed 14:30; Thu 18:45

Showcase Cinema De Lux Leeds

Wed 14:30; Thu 19:00

Showcase Dudley

Wed 14:40; Thu 18:50

Showcase Walsall

Wed/Thu 19:15

Stafford Cinema

18:00 20:15 (Fri-Sun/Tue/Wed/Thu)

Westway

17:15 20:00

From: Friday 7th August
To: Thursday 13th August

Central Cinema

Fri-Wed 17:00 19:00 (Fri/Sat/Mon/Tue)

Curzon Canterbury

Fri/Sat/Mon-Thu 13:50 (Fri/Sat/Tue-Thu) 16:30; Sun 13:20 16:00

Curzon Richmond

Fri 12:30; Sat/Tue/Thu 16:15; Sun 19:00; Wed 13:30

Dome Cinema

Fri/Mon/Tue 17:30; Sat 17:00; Sun 16:55; Wed/Thu 17:55

Everyman Barnet

Fri/Sat 18:30; Sun 18:15; Mon 17:00; Tue 18:00; Wed 16:15

Everyman Bristol

Fri 18:30; Sat 15:30; Sun 13:15; Wed 16:30

Everyman Chelmsford

Fri 18:30; Sat/Sun/Tue 14:00 (Sun) 18:20; Mon 17:00; Wed 16:20

Everyman Esher

Fri/Tue 19:30; Sat 20:15; Sun/Thu 16:45 20:30 (Sun); Mon 14:30 21:00; Wed 18:00

Everyman Gerrards Cross

Fri 16:00; Sat 18:15; Sun 16:30; Tue 13:45

Everyman Harrogate

Fri 15:15 18:15; Sat 17:45; Sun 16:45; Mon 17:00; Tue 19:15; Wed 19:30

Everyman Horsham

Fri/Mon 19:30; Sat 18:20; Tue 17:00; Wed 18:15

Everyman Leeds

Fri 18:15; Sat 17:45; Sun 16:30; Mon 16:00; Tue 19:00

Everyman Oxted

Fri 19:15; Sat/Sun/Tue 14:00 (Tue) 17:30; Mon 19:45; Wed 18:00

Everyman Reigate

Fri 15:40; Sat 18:15; Tue 18:00

Everyman Stratford-Upon-Avon

Fri/Sun 15:45 (Fri) 19:30; Sat 18:15; Mon 17:30; Tue 18:00; Thu 16:15

Everyman Winchester

Fri 15:45; Sat/Tue 18:00; Wed 15:15

Parkway Cinema

Tue/Thu 11:00

Parkway Cinema

Fri/Wed 14:30; Sat 17:50; Sun 15:35; Mon/Tue 20:15

Queen’s Film Theatre

Fri/Mon 18:00; Sat 18:15; Sun 17:45; Tue-Thu 20:50

Radway Cinema

Fri/Sat/Mon 19:00; Sun 17:00; Wed 14:20; Thu 20:00

Reel Cinema Burnley

Fri-Mon/Wed/Thu 19:15

Reel Cinema Chippenham

Fri-Mon/Wed/Thu 19:15

Reel Cinema Chorley

Fri/Mon-Thu 16:45 19:15 (Fri/Mon/Wed/Thu); Sat/Sun 17:00

Reel Cinema Rochdale

Fri-Mon/Wed/Thu 19:15

Regent Cinema

16:00 19:00 (Fri-Tue)

Ritz

20:00

Savoy

Fri/Sat/Mon/Tue 19:10; Sun 17:30; Thu 15:30

Scott Cinemas

Fri-Mon 18:30; Wed/Thu 15:45

Scott Cinemas Bristol, Westbury Park

Fri-Wed 17:00 19:45 (Fri/Sat/Mon/Wed); Thu 16:30

Showcase Walsall

Fri-Tue 19:00

The Dukes

Fri 16:00; Sat/Sun/Wed 19:30; Tue 12:30

Watermans

Fri-Mon/Wed/Thu 16:00 (Sat/Sun) 19:00

Westway

20:00