Shadows in the Sun (12A)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner03/06/2009

One out of Five stars
Running time: 78 mins

Badly written, poorly directed and atrociously acted, this is 78 minutes of pure tedium, enlivened only by a laughably bad near-drowning scene.

What's it all about?
Directed by David Rocksavage and set in the '60s for no reason whatsoever, Shadows in the Sun stars Jean Simmons as Hannah, an elderly literary figure who lives alone in a large, remote house on the Norfolk coast. Content to pass her days with her garden and her poetry, Hannah has also befriended a handsome young drifter named Joe (Jamie Dornan), whose frequent gifts of cannabis help ease the pain of her lengthy, drawn-out, but ultimately terminal illness.

However, when Hannah's son Robert (James Wilby) arrives with teenaged daughter Kate (Ophelia Lovibond) and ten-year-old Sam (Toby Marlow) in tow, he's instantly suspicious of Hannah's friendship with Joe, suspecting him of having designs on a place in Hannah's will. Meanwhile, Kate's instantly attracted to Joe and Sam also bonds with him when they explore a nearby shipwreck together.

The Bad
This is a dreadfully self-indulgent piece of work with a painfully dull script and a plot that's practically non-existent. The dramatic highlight of the film comes when Sam is caught in a fast-rising tide and almost drowns, but the scene is so badly filmed that it's actually laughable, because Sam appears to be almost drowning in less than a foot of water.

Similarly, the various confrontations don't work because none of the characters ring true and it's impossible to care about any of them. Robert's an arrogant, selfish idiot, Kate's shallow and boring, while Sam's just plain irritating – by the time his almost-drowning scene comes along you'll be firmly on the side of the waves.

The Worst
Experienced actors Wilby and Simmons do their best with their badly written parts, but they're stranded with the sort of script that substitutes lengthy poetry quotations for genuine emotion. Meanwhile, Dornan has zero screen presence, while Marlow is a truly terrible child actor.

Worth seeing?
Shadows in the Sun is a boring, self-indulgent, badly acted mess that's best left well alone. Avoid.

Film Trailer

Shadows in the Sun (12A)
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Content updated: 20/08/2018 15:38

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