Emma's War

Emma's War (Clytie Jessop, 1988) prod. Andrina Finlay, Clytie Jessop for Belinon, wr. Clytie Jessop, Peter Smalley, dp Tom Cowan, music John Williams, design Jane Norris, ed. Sonia Hoffman; Lee Remick (Anne Grange), Miranda Otto (Emma Grange), Mark Lee (John Davidson), Terence Donovan (Frank Grange), Donal Gibson (Hank), Bridey Lee (Laurel Grange), Pat Evison (Miss Arnott), Grigor Taylor (Dr Friedlander), Noelene Brown (Mrs Mortimer); girl with alcoholic mother, father serving in New Guinea during WW2; "story of a young girl's rites of passage", Rolando Caputo in Murray 1995: 248; Eastman colour, 35mm, 95 min.

I found this to be much as one might expect a first film to be: somewhat lacking in continuity and in unity. However, I think many aspects of it are quite charming. Lee Remick and Mirando Otto are lovely.

First-time director Clytie Jessop is a former actress: she played Miss Jessel, one of the ghosts in Jack Clayton's The Innocents and had made a number of short films ... She wrote Emma's War in collaboration with her husband, Peter Smalley ... The final scenes, with Emma's crippled father (Terence Donovan) returning from the war and the crowds celebrating victory in Martin Place, are by far the best in this slow-moving, tentative film. David Stratton: 366.


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