Saturday, 17 October 2009

(500) Films of Empire - Day 32 - A brief encounter with Brief Encounter

171 – Brief Encounter – 4 stars
First time I’ve seen the writer and producer of a film credited after the director... such must have been the power and success of Noel Coward at the time, to have a better credit than the wonderful David Lean.
(I’m wondering what film was the first to feature their credits at the end of the movie? Am I correct in thinking that it was Star Wars: A New Hope?)
Why was I under the impression that Brief Encounter took place over one day in a train station cafe? How wrong I was!
Instead it is a woman’s silent confession to her husband of an illicit affair (well as illicit as affairs could be portrayed back in the days of the Hays Code).
Normally extensive voiceover would be frowned upon as Robert McKee (yes, him again), believes it to be lazy writing, but it works perfectly here as Celia Johnson recounts her relationship with Trevor Howard.
Both actors are wonderful in their roles and make the most of Noel Coward’s words, with Johnson excelling in creating a poignant, heartbreaking voiceover.
Makes me hopeful I might find true love on the train and not just overpriced snacks and a sore neck because I fell asleep with my head against the window!

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