Look Back in Anger View large image

Film Details

Directed by: David Jones Judi Dench

Produced: 1989

Countries & Regions: United Kingdom

DVD Details

Certificate: 12

Length: 114 mins

Format: DVD

Region: Region 2

Released: 30 January 2012

Cat No: 7953629

Extras:
Languages(s): English
Interactive Menu

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Look Back in Anger

Cast: Emma Thompson , Kenneth Branagh , Siobhan Redmond , Gerard Horan

DVD
Availability: On Order, dispatched within 5 - 10 days. Delivery Times

Actress Judi Dench co-directs this made-for television adaptation of John Osborne’s ground breaking stage play - set only in the grotty... Read More

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Actress Judi Dench co-directs this made-for television adaptation of John Osborne’s ground breaking stage play - set only in the grotty bed-sit the protagonists live in. Jimmy (Kenneth Branagh), university educated articulate and poor, is angry with almost everything and everyone from the government and the church to his long suffering wife (Emma Thompson). He now works in a sweet shop, and his bitterness and frustration with life is released on his wife in the form of aggression. But when Alison’s best friend Helena (Siobhan Redmond) arrives on the scene, things begin to change.

It’s hard to credit now that John Osborne’s play was vilified by most critics on its release, so confirmed is its classic status. It sparked off a succession of “Angry Young Man” dramas, including Saturday Night and Sunday Morning and The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner. This 1989 adaptation marks Judi Dench’s sole directorial effort, and stars Kenneth Branagh as Jimmy, the bitter anti-hero, and Emma Thompson as his weary wife, just before both went on to hugely successful film careers. Dissecting the lot of the working-class male in 1950s Britain, Branagh excels in the role – a burning and bitter mass of unfulfilled potential, he captures the character’s essence more effectively than Richard Burton’s interpretation in the flawed 1959 film.

Some of this adaptation’s strongest scenes are those between Thompson and Siobhan Redmond as her friend/love rival, with Dench emphasising the feminine relationship among the male grandstanding – there is a streak of misogyny in the play that Dench tempers with her sensitive focus. Her film is a claustrophobic and moving portrayal of lives at the end of their tether.

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