Film Review: Mrs Caldicot’s Cabbage War

I know! A film review! Only a quick short one really.

Source: GoodSearch Images

Mrs Caldicot (Pauline Collins) has been kept under her husband’s thumb for years so when he dies, she thinks she has the perfect chance to become independent. Her son (Peter Capaldi, long before Doctor Who) and daughter-in-law however force her into a retirement home where she is drugged to keep quiet and forced to sign over her house to her son. However, when the drugs wear off, she incites revolution among her fellow inmates, leading to her to discovering her fire and creating more change than she anticipated.

This British film does not sound like it is going to be particularly entertaining at first however Pauline Collins soon warms you up, getting the audience to relate to the character through the themes of finding independence and fighting against a system that is wrong through, initially, small acts. Capaldi is wonderful in his role of the manipulative son (attack eyebrows included), with fellow Doctor Who star Annette Badland as the homes cook and Tony Robinson of Time Team fame as chat show host, Nick Reid. There are some laugh out loud moments, mixed in with warm moments whilst also asking questions about the treatment of our aged and elderly that are as relevant today as they were back in 2002 when the film was made.

It’s not exactly a film that would grace TV’s at prime time and is more suited to a quiet Sunday with the family to curl up and enjoy. Not all plot lines I feel are tied up, the ending comes out of nowhere and character development, away from Mrs Caldicot, is minimal, if any happens at all. It certainly could draw lessons from fellow Brit comedy-drama Keeping Mum, which also features a lot of British talent. Some fleshing out and rewriting was needed in places. Unfortunately, this does let down an otherwise funny, warm film.

Definitely a film to curl up with a slow day but certainly not the best. I know I, at least, would rather watch Keeping Mum or Call the Midwife over this.

Sorry

Sorry for the lack of posts this week. This one is to apologise, explain why I haven’t been posting and really just me talking other things out to just get them out of my system.

So why haven’t I been posting? Well, I am still job hunting and it seems to me that I am having worse luck last and this week than in previous weeks with my job hunt. I’m not sure if this is just my experience or if others are also having this issue. I am looking to extend my voluntary work with the National Trust to at least give me something to do that will keep me sane and give me extra experience. Might also distract me from constantly looking at post-grad courses I cannot afford to do. A habit that shows itself when I get particularly downhearted by my job search.

So far, the issues I am having with my job hunting are coming out as me being unable and/or struggling to find the motivation to write, edit or rewrite anything. In saying that though, I am thinking and considering editing and rewriting things, including a story to post on here. This might sound weird to some people but the characters have been playing and shouting at me in my head for the past week or so and I just need to get it out of my system I think. That is, if I can finally force myself to do anything as it is only thinking and considering.

In relation to writing, I am finding my thoughts are also starting to turn to Camp NaNoWriMo and the first session in April. I am not sure if I should even be thinking about doing the sessions when I have a job to hunt for and, potentially, could clash with assessment days, etc. related to job hunting. I have however had an idea or actually a thought to play around with which came to mind whilst watching the Harrow series on Sky 1.

It surrounds the idea of house masters, the children of the house master and their schooling. I am still playing with it and trying to figure out what exactly I could do with the idea but I think there might be something in it. If I decide to do camp, this would probably be the story I would do.

So yeah, that’s pretty much what is happening in my head at the moment and why I haven’t been posting lately. Sorry again!

Film Review: Keeping Mum

I’ve been looking forward to being finally able to review this film. It’s one of those film that I always seem to miss the first bit of when ever it is on Film4.

The little village of Little Wallop is your typical English village but Gloria Goodfellow (Kristin Scott Thomas) is going crazy.

Her vicar husband, Walter Goodfellow (Rowan Atkinson), is so obsessed with writing the perfect sermon, he is completely ignoring his wife, who is having an affair with her American golf instructor Lance (Patrick Swayze). His seventeen year old nymphomaniac daughter Holly (Tamsin Egerton) has a different boyfriend every week and his son Petey (Toby Parkes) is the victim of school bullies.

Gloria is praying for a miracle when a new housekeeper arrives. Sweet old lady Grace (Maggie Smith) is the answer to all Gloria’s prayers. She has a unique way of keeping house and even more unique way of dealing with problems.

This is a great British comedy with an all-star cast with some brilliant laugh out loud moments. The film shows off the best in British talent from the actors in front of the camera and the people behind it. The script is a great example of British wit and humour whilst the film locations, in Cornwall and on the Isle of Wight, shows just how beautiful the English countryside can be, away from the city streets that seem to be the norm. It draws the audience in right from the start and keeps them entertained from start to finish.

This is a comedy film but Atkinson shows he is capable of carrying off a very serious role away from his iconic bumbling Mr Bean character whilst Smith, who is normally seen in rather staid roles such as Professor McGonagall in the Harry Potter franchise, is perfect as the fun and very British Grace who seems to always be looking for a good cup of tea.

The film features a lot of sexual references, nudity and some strong language and whilst overt, it does not detract from the film. It is however a good reason why the BBFC rated this film as a 15. I would not recommend watching this film with young kids around as this is not a Jacqueline Wilson type of story, who has a book by the same name. It is slow in places but it does succeed in keeping its audience even then with other elements.

This is a great film to enjoy for a night in, whether alone or with friends and will leave you giggling, laughing and at least smiling through out. Whilst it won’t have you holding your sides or anything like that, it is great fun, with a wonderfully British feel to it.