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Tom Crick faces the latest in a long series of disappointments that form his life when the British teacher of history is forced into early retirement by the American high school where he works. Challenged by one of his students to make his subject relevant, as his final lecture the fraying Crick tells the history of the English marshlands known as The Fens. He spins a tale that begins before World War I and encompasses his family history, his childhood with his mentally challenged brother, and his romance with the beautiful girl who becomes his wife--now a deeply disturbed woman. In telling his story of incest, abortion, murder, domestic abuse, insanity and kidnapping, Crick gains an understanding of his tragic life as he pierces his students' apathy. Based on the novel by Booker Prize-winning author Graham Swift.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 12
- Fresh: 7
- Rotten: 5
- Average Rating: 6.0/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: With a dazed, frightened expression and the keen sense that his life is coming undone, Mr. Irons's Tom becomes a rivetingly sad figure, and a sharp focus for the film's many reveries.
Rotten: A talented but terminally parched piece of literary cinema.
Fresh: Swift's elegant, descriptive phrases coexist inelegantly with classroom vulgarisms. And there almost making it all work as a portrait in despondency and realization is Irons, a walking requiem to lost innocence.
Rotten: The adaptation doesn't quite hold. But in this flashback narrative, set in England's beautiful eastern wetlands, there are many passages of filmic -- and geographic -- beauty.
An Extraordinary film! Well worth staying up late for
There's a benefit to having insomnia: you get to stumble upon film treasures like this one. I saw this on cable many years ago very late at night…and I never forgot it's power. I've been a fan of Jeremy Irons for many years and he gives a wonderful performance here. I also thought it interesting on how outside influences of history can shape our own experiences of the world and how we ourselves see ourselves within it. The study of history is retelling or recounting some of the greatest stories ever told and we as well carry the stories of our lives as our own personal histories. That things we do in the past shape what happens to us in the present as well as the future. It's not only a wonderful love story but it's also acts as a fascinating metaphor for the nature of history