I felt I'd had more than my fill of WWII films and was going to bypass this for that reason. Not that I find them 'boring' as such, rather being made to see the endlessly repeated depictions of Nazi brutality upsets me more and more as I age. I don't need the reminding of what went on. Perhaps younger generations do.
However, this film has an infrequently documented angle to it: viz the fact the Channel Islands was the only British territory which was occupied by the Third Reich.
It's based on a - would you credit it? - true story of Lou Gould (Jenny Seagrove in a towering performance), a grocer's shop owner who has just lost her husband fighting in the war - or was it her son, thereby giving greater weight and poignancy to the film's title?
She takes in and hides an escaped Russian POW (Julian Kostov) who was one of a contingent of beaten up and starving prisoners brought to the island of Jersey to perform menial and arduous physical work. She gets him cleaned and tidied up, bushy beard shaved off, and gets him dressed in inconspicuous everyday clothes.
Although he speaks no English he must be a fast learner as the story starts in 1942 and by the next year he's already conversing in that language!
The story involves anonymous snoopers who report suspicious activities to the German occupiers, presumably in return for favours - and John Hannah, working on the postal service tries to intercept and destroy these messages. There's also Ronan Keating (one-time lead singer of 'Boyzone') in probably his first major serious role in a feature film - as well as the living legend, Susan Hampshire, whom, I must admit, I'd forgotten was in the cast and whom I failed to recognise.
It's a very serious film (directed by Christopher Menaul), not many laughs, shot entirely in appropriately subdued colours. The story is moving - though it's Jenny Seagrove in the main role who really carries the film with her subtly nuanced, highly professional performance.
I don't have any regrets that I decided to see this though I'd now prefer to wait a long while before I see yet another war film. Oh, wait a minute. There's Christopher Nolan's 'Dunkirk' coming over the horizon soon, so I'll have to make an exception for that. In fact I've got great hopes for it, with starry cast and all - even though reports are that it's spectacularly harrowing.
However, for 'Another Mother's Son'.................6.5.
4 hours ago