And thank God that his segment was last because it rescued what until then had been a dull, pointless film.
If his piece had been set at the start of the train journey, the other two sections would have seemed even more disappointing and excruciating.
I've always admired the way Loach has continued to use cinema as a means of social commentary. I don't always agree with his message particularly when it is surprisingly naive and unfounded (Bread and Roses being a prime example) but his films are always worth seeing.
Thankfully, his piece about a trio of Celtic fans travelling to Rome is the standout in this film in the same way as his contribution had been to 11'09''01 - September 11.
What had gone before it was pretty dire. First of all, there had been the story of a Roy Scheider lookalike Professor and a PR lady who inexplicably has the hots for him.
As he is about to board the train, he says to her that they have never met before even though she was with him earlier and booked the tickets! Maybe there was something going on there that I missed...
The next section involved an incredibly annoying old battle-axe, a General's widow, a man on community service who accompanies her and a whole series of boring, pointless discussions and encounters. One such encounter was between the man and a 14 year old girl he had known several years earlier that made me worry a little about where it was going.
In fact, it didn't lead anywhere at all; it was as tedious and unnecessary as the rest of that story.
Loach's work isn't one of his best but it was good enough to improve something that was pretty dreadful and leave us with a mediocre film that ended on a high note.
I would recommend skipping the first two stories altogether and just watch Loach's instead. Everything that went before it is really not worth the bother.
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