Presented By:John Waters
Hester Collyer (Rachel Weisz) leads an exemplary middle-class life amidst the ruins of post-WWII England. Not much has been expected of her except to marry well, and she has done that, marrying a judge. All this calm evaporates when Hester falls passionately for a fighter pilot.
Adapted from a cherished Terence Rattigan play, this beautifully wrought movie from Terence Davies (The Neon Bible, House of Mirth) describes a passion that violates all the rules of Hester’s society. Battle of the Bulge fighter pilot Freddie Page (Tom Hiddleston) woos Hester with descriptions of the unique and confusing pleasures of battle, which should be a serious warning to Hester. But she wants to feel that kind of exhilaration too, and their affair begins with a beautifully erotic night. Unfortunately for her, it’s the apogee of the relationship.
Everything in Davies’ movie—the imaginative design that evokes the lingering aftermath of WWII
in England, the non-chronological editing, the haunting use of Samuel Barber’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (performed by violinist Hilary Hahn), even the focus and lighting—is built around and reflects Rachel Weisz’s shimmering performance. Speech is restricted in this culture, but she can express the strongest feeling with a simple gaze or a deep breath. (Jed Dietz)
Legendary filmmaker John Waters is the writer/director of such films as Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, Polyester, Hairspray, Cry-Baby, Serial Mom, Pecker, and A Dirty Shame. He is also renowned as a visual artist, public speaker, and author. His books include Shock Value, Crackpot, Role Models, and 2014’s Carsick.