FILM / Critical Round-Up

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The Independent Culture

'When Mirren is at the centre of it, Hayman's film is at least intriguing and sometimes more than that. Unfortunately, Peter Ransley's adaptation of his own book rarely gives Hayman the chance to suggest . . . the tension and passion of Silent Scream, his much more audaciously conceived first film.' Derek Malcolm, Guardian

'David Hayman's direction is crisp and Mirren's performance is as subtly regal as ever. The problem lies in Peter Ransley's script . . . The film remains a distinctly cool, grimly functional affair.' Stephen Amidon, Financial Times

'(Mirren's) heart-felt performance as the wife and mother assailed by suspicions, fearful of her sanity, fills the screen and propels the drama forward.' Geoff Brown, Times


'A beautiful-looking film, proving how superbly you can deal with the intricacies of light and shade when you are prepared to work, as Sacha Vierny was, in black and white . . . Very few movies now can claim such an effective synthesis of its parts, and also between what you see, what you hear and what you just might have imagined.' Derek Malcolm, Guardian

'Viewed in itself, the film is now a distant enigma, an ageing riddle there seems little reason to solve. But when placed in the context of cinema history, it begins to make sense.' Stephen Amidon, Financial Times

'This is the cinema of dreams and it still casts a spell.' Geoff Brown, Times


'Despite the plot's potential wackiness, writer / director Daniel Appleby proves incapable of finding either the right comic or erotic pitch to make this strange story work.' Stephen Amidon, Financial Times

'Has ambition written all over it, but very little capacity to deliver the goods . . . Unevenly acted, scripted without much real wit and directed with the kind of careless abandon that sometimes passes for imagination.' Derek Malcolm, Guardian

'Backfires from start to finish.' Geoff Brown, Times


'Ground-breaking stop-motion puppet animation.' Derek Malcolm, Guardian

'Shot through with adult satire and whimsy.' Geoff Brown, Times

'Oozes care, rivalling anything done in animation since.' Stephen Amidon, Financial Times