A great example of how impactful a film can be, with nothing more than a well-crafted story and good acting.  No need for showing off here. 

CERTIFICATE:  12A

DIRECTOR:  Lisa Barros D’Sa, Glenn Leyburn

STARRING:  Liam Neeson, Lesley Manville, Amit Shah

SCREENPLAY:  Owen McCafferty

GENRE:  Drama, Romance

RUNTIME:  92 Minutes

★★★★ 4 Stars  

You’ll find no big showy set pieces here.  No dramatic CGl or special effects.  This film takes a simple, well told story, and two brilliant actors and shows how great cinema can be without all the paraphernalia that we have come to expect from the big blockbusters.

Joan and Tom live a complete ordinary life, until that life is turned upside down when Joan is diagnosed with breast cancer.  What follows this is a well-crafted story of two people trying to deal with this horrible situation.  How it affects them and the people around them and how it may or may not change them as people by the end. 

This started out as an obligation viewing for me.  It wasn’t even remotely on my radar, but it was the only release from this week that I hadn’t yet seen and I had a free afternoon, so I thought ‘what the heck’. I thought the subject matter combined with the romance would be a real deterrent for me.  I am not the biggest fan of romantic films, or depressing films, so lets say my hopes where not high.  Thankfully, Liam Neeson and Lesley Manville gave such amazing performances that I forgot about all my reservations. It requires a great amount of emotion from both of them and they both deliver.

I was a bit surprised by the ending.  I’m not going to spoil it for anyone, but it is safe to say that it did not end the way that I was expecting.  And every now and then, that can be a pleasant surprise, for a writer to buck the trend.  And instead of going for the shock ending, give us something warm and uplifting, and I think that is what was done here.  After a film dealing with such heavy themes, it was good to leave the theatre, not carrying those heavy feeling with me.  

It’s not a widely discussed film, but it is one that I would recommend seeing.  It’s a slow burner and you don’t get a lot of bang for your buck, but it is well handled and fantastically acted.

Ordinary Love is in UK cinemas now