The story takes place on Mother’s Day in 1924. Fir Mr. and Mrs. Evan give their housekeeper, Jane Fairchild (Odessa Young), the day off, as the couple are set to go to their neighbour’s house to celebrate his engagement.
The truth is Jane and the neighbour, Paul, have been having an affair for many years.
Derek (Guest) – Beautifully filmed, this is a dark and atmospheric period piece pervaded by the tragic consequences of The Great War to lives of English families, especially to the women. They, with varying degrees of success, are coping with the recent loss of sons, brothers, husbands and beaus.
Events are set around an exceptionally fine Sunday, being Mother’s Day, and a planned picnic in the countryside. The beauty of the day does nothing to lighten the mood of a grieving wife, nor the prospect of a forthcoming wedding can inject any joy.
And then we are introduced to a sexual relationship that lurks in the background. In explicit detail, we observe the family’s housemaid providing services to her gentleman employer far wider than pouring the wine at the dinner table. As this aspect unfolds, we see that her personal happiness is linked to her lover and is as fragile as those grieving the men lost in The War.
After sliding slowly in that direction, the movie accelerates to its ultimate grim conclusion. So, if you are in need of a means to dispel any feelings of joy and happiness you may have, this is just the movie to do it.
Rating: 5/10, not a movie that I can really say that I ‘enjoyed”. This score will no doubt attract the scorn of those who delight in observing the misery that can be inflicted by cruel fate.
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