My Summer Of Love

on June 17, 2005 by Susan Green
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A contemporary English teenager in "My Summer of Love" may live far from fabled Thomas Hardy Country, but the Yorkshire lass shares some traits with one of the novelist's troubled late 19th-century heroines in "The Return of the Native." Much like Eustacia Vye, Mona (newcomer Natalie Press) dreams of escaping the village that suffocates her lively spirit. She has been alienated from her brother Phil (Paddy Considine) since he became a born-again Christian and began turning the pub inherited from their late parents into an ad hoc church.

Mona's outlook brightens when she's befriended--and seduced--by the artsy Tamsin (a feature debut for Emily Blunt), an affluent college student summering at her family's nearby estate. Director Pawl Pawlikowski ("Last Resort") coaxes brilliant performances from all three actors and keeps the audience nicely off balance in this bittersweet portrait of a young protagonist with more pluck than poor Eustacia. Starring Natalie Press, Emily Blunt and Paddy Considine. Directed by Pawel Pawlikowski. Written by Pawel Pawlikowski, Michael Wynne, Nathalie Press, Emily Blunt and Paddy Considine. Produced by Tanya Seghatchian and Christopher Collins. A Focus release. Drama. Rated R for sexuality, language and some drug use. Running time: 87 min

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