7 November 2017 | SpinBoyAndHow
Thoroughly enjoyable film
This was my favorite movie in the Helen Mirren compilation set. It's about an Oxford University professor who has a dinner party with his fiancée (played by Mirren), in his cramped, charming little apartment on campus. Invited are his world-wise best friend (another professor), a mousy young woman who doesn't speak a single word throughout the film, an intellectual nymphomaniac extrovert, and a pompous middle-aged author who's delightfully obnoxious. Tragedies and political movements are occurring on campus and the group discusses a wide variety of interesting topics. It's very talky, witty, intelligent, and mid-1970's British. Young, pretty Helen Mirren is great as the smart, sophisticated graduate student fiancée of the somewhat clumsy professor. Jacqueline Pearce's performance is excellent as the sexy modern woman who 'sort of' comes between them, and Charles Gray is perfect as the stuffy British author for whom the phrase 'so full of himself' could've been invented (When this guy left the party, I didn't want him to go!). I'm not going to pick apart the little nuances of the performances and go on and on about who accurately communicated what aspects of their character's inner demons or strengths and did or didn't do the original Moliere vision justice.--I just thought it was fantastic! Anyone who's a fan of British comedy and shows from that era (like Fawlty Towers, Are You Being Served?, Reginald Perrin, Rising Damp, I, Claudius, etc.) will definitely like this. It really feels like you're transported to a British dinner party at a flat on the Oxford campus on a November night in 1975!