The Long Day Closes

The Long Day Closes (Terence Davies, 1992) Leigh McCormack, Marjorie Yates, Anthony Watson

Derek Elley:
Pic builds on the basic elements of Davies’ 1988 Cannes Critics’ Award-winner , Distant Voices, Still Lives, but takes its emotional cue from that work’s gut-churning set piece: the rising crane shot outside a rain-drenched movie theater to the lush strains of Love Is a Many Splendored Thing. After a still-life main title to a Boccherini minuet, Long Day lets rip with the 20th Century Fox fanfare (plus CinemaScope extension) and segues into a free-form ride down the helmer’s memory lane of family, friends, Catholicism and cinema. ... Pic’s major weakness is its stop-go tempo. Individual segs are stunningly mounted (an overhead, four-part lateral track to the strains of “Tammy”; Bud dreaming of a mighty galleon) but show a longer dramatic line, a reluctance to go with the flow. Davies is still a miniaturist working in a feature-length format. Variety.

Peter Travers:
... for Bud, beautifully played by McCormack, the movies take on a spiritual aura. Shot through the shimmer of memory by cinematographer Michael Coulter, the theater looms like an ornate temple. A shaft of light from the projector catches the anticipation on Bud’s face as the screen removes the drab from his existence. ... Only a few directors have merged illusion and reality with such delicacy. Woody Allen did it with The Purple Rose of Cairo in 1985. Rolling Stone.

Phelim O'Neill:
When Terence Davies speaks on the extras on these DVDs, he's so softly spoken it takes a while to notice when he's discussing something traumatic or life-changing - and in that respect, his cinematic voice is the same. Memories play a big part of Davies' work too - he doesn't just try to recreate scenes from his childhood but feelings and moods, which means his films aren't a succession of sequences, rather a flood of images and moments, some important, some of little consequence. As a result, they can seem unstructured and insubstantial, but the opposite is true. Guardian.

Garry Gillard | reviews | New: 18 October, 2023 | Now: 19 October, 2023