137. Oranges and Sunshine (B-)
I'm not quite sure why the release date of this film has been pushed back by over two years (I caught it at a preview screening; it still hasn't been released in the United States). It's not a perfect movie, but it's a serviceable drama with some good performances. Of course, it's not without its problems. Emily Watson's character doesn't encounter any significant obstacles until more than half way through the movie, and then the obstacles she does ultimately face don't really amount to much. This might be true to life (the film is based on a true story), but it doesn't make for the most exciting of drama. The biggest problem with the movie, though, is the characters. There are just too many of them for any one to be fully fleshed out. Watson, along with co-stars Hugo Weaving and David Wenham are all good, but the film never develops any of them into fully-fledged characters. It doesn't help that a significant portion of the film's screen time is devoted to vignettes of other characters who we get to learn even less about. Finally, the film's final voice over (a real life speech delivered by Gordon Brown) feels tacked on (and according to the press notes, it was).
Ultimately, it's a decent movie (and with a woman as the central character!), but it's not quite fully realized.