Film Scouts Reviews

"Feast of July"

by Eleanor Ringel

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Embeth Davidtz (from "Schindler's List") stars as a Victorian beauty with a tragic past (seduced and abandoned) and a precarious present. Taken in by the kindly Wainwrights (Tom Bell and Gemma Jones), her very presence causes jealous discord among the three Wainwright sons - steady Matty (Kenneth Anderson), dashing Jedd (James Purefoy) and impetuous Con (Ben Chaplin) who keeps pigeons just like Brando did in "On The Waterfront." Meanwhile, in the background, the encroaching Industrial Revolution belches its soot and despair over a once-pastoral community. The movie isn't especially complex - these are characters who feel instead of think; then act on their feelings; then suffer the consequences of their actions. Still, it's entertaining and well-acted. The producers are the Merchant-Ivory team and the director is Christopher Menaul ("Prime Suspect"). But don't think Austen or Forster. Think, a Victorian "Legends of the Fall" - a tragic melodrama, with all the period trimmings.

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