Film Review – Summer in February.

summer in feb

Summer in February

I was pretty sure I hadn’t come across this film until it landed from Lovefilm last weekend.  I think my previous film was damaged, as it skipped and whizzed in the DVD player at certain times – really annoying!  So that’s the good thing about Lovefilm, they send you 2 films next time around to make up for it.  Surprising for me it was ‘Summer in February’.  It must have been on my list, it is a recent film – 2013 – but I can’t remember selecting it.  I’m pretty sure I would have chosen it at some point though, with it having Dan Stevens (Matthew – Downton Abbey) in it; and possibly the genre of the film too.

Summer in February – From the Novel by Jonathan Smith.

So, at the beginning of the 20th Century a bunch of artists, poets and writers (The Newlyn School of artists) lived on the Cornish coast and were very influential at the time as being a wild and free-spirited group.

A.J. Munnings, (Dominic Cooper – Mama Mia), is loved by his admiring friends, and was destined to become the leading painter of his day.  A very entertaining, sometimes loud but deep and moody character, but as a painter, his skill at depicting horses was to be his trade-mark, but his contempt for modern art (Cézanne, Matisse and Picasso) is hinted at in the film.

When the beautiful Florence Carter-Wood (Emily Browning – Sucker Punch/Pompeii) visits to join the group to become a better artist, Munnings and his perhaps unlikely best friend, the gentlemanly local land agent Gilbert Evans (Dan Stevens), both befriend her and are attracted to her.  You can tell it’s not going to end well as it is 1913, and the Edwardian idyll must be shattered by the onset of World War 1.

It is based on a true story and of course the question is does Florence fall for the wrong man..?  You’ll have to watch it to find out…

It’s a beautiful tale, set in a wonderful part of the UK and the photography is so complimentary and evocative of the time, the people, their life-styles, art and the suffocating conventions of Edwardian morality, which even bohemian artists could not completely escape.

This is a great, wet Sunday afternoon film if you love the turn of the 20th century period, art, poetry, drama and a good old love story!


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