In this beautiful adaptation of Graham Swift’s novel, starring Josh O’Connor and Odessa Young, a writer has a creative awakening steeped in books, love and loss.
Screenwriter Alice Birch (Normal People, Lady Macbeth) and director Eva Husson (Bang Gang, Girls of the Sun) prove the perfect creative duo to bring the rich sensuality of this story to the screen.
In Henley, in the mid-1920s, young maid Jane (Young) works for the Nivens, one of several local ‘grand’ families who have been devastated by the loss of sons in the First World War. Jane sneaks away for a passionate secret relationship with Paul (Josh O’Connor), the sole surviving son from a neighbouring manor house. But Paul is engaged to be married to someone else. More than a decade later, Jane has become a writer and is living with another man (Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù) in London, struggling to make sense of an idea for a novel that keeps urging her to look to the past.
Eva Husson and director of photography Jamie Ramsay (Moffie) bring a vibrant physicality to this period setting, creating a tangible intimacy and sense of place – of bodies, overripe flowers, but also typewriter keys and old books in libraries. Robed in Sandy Powell’s gorgeous costumes, a terrific extended cast including Olivia Colman and Colin Firth make this one of 2021's must-sees.