23 August 1999 | Dr.Teeth
Fantastic love story
This film is a fantastic love story. You'll note that I didn't say "sex story," because there is absolutely no sex in this film. And yet most people equate "love story" with sex, or at least a beautifully shot kiss at the end, complete with a cheesy song penned by Brian Adams. This, my friends, is a love story with a difference.
It is the story of a servant's love for his queen; it is the story of a woman's love for the man who has given her life meaning; it is a story of two best friends, who ignore social circumstances and care deeply for one another. The story is nearly flawless, combining the historical situation and circumstances with intense and riveting emotion.
The acting is outstanding. Both of the central actors convey exactly what their character is feeling, even if no words are spoken. Billy Connolly lets John Brown's humanity shine through his rough exterior, and he has a naturalness that is quite inspired. And Dame Judi Dench gives a masterful performance, worthy of the Oscar (like that's never been said before). Her portrayal of a queen tortured by her feelings and her position in society is the best of the year by any actor, male or female.
Hands down the best British film of the year. 9/10.