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Sunday, June 19, 2016

Plenty (1985)

After WWII ends, a young woman (Meryl Streep) who had been a courier for the resistance in France, finds adjusting to peacetime life difficult. The dreams she had of a better world are dashed by the stagnancy of Great Britain following WWII and her anger manifests itself in mental illness. Based on the acclaimed play by David Hare (who wrote the screenplay) and directed by Fred Schepisi (SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION). Although Hare's screenplay is perhaps too tightly constructed (I've not read the play) to allow much room for anyone besides Streep's narrow focus, I still found it a compelling film. Considering that Streep's character is essentially Hare's mouthpiece as she rants and raves about the corruption of the British ruling class as the character's malignant ennui begins to poison not only her but everyone around her, she's a surprisingly empathetic character. It helps that Schepisi has surrounded himself with some top talent like Ian Baker's cinematography, Bruce Smeaton's underscore and Richard Macdonald's production design. Streep is very good here, she hides the turning wheels and doesn't go all actressy on us. With John Gielgud (excellent), Charles Dance, Tracey Ullman, Ian McKellen, Sting, Burt Kwouk and Hugh Laurie. 

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