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"Based upon audience reviews, and mediocre reviews from critics, I wasn’t sure I’d like this film. I was concerned that Time Out had rated this film 3 stars on this site, which was bumped up to 4 stars on posters for the film. So I bit the bullet and went anyway. I was very, very pleasantly surprised. I was immediately struck by the superb (yes, superb) cinematography, which was consistent throughout. The story’s good, the script convincing, the settings, sets, buildings, pier, clothing and so on - all excellent – and great attention to detail. Best of all was Helen Mirren’s acting. Having appeared in some very mediocre films in the past decade, she shone as Ida. I don’t think I’ve seen her act so well since Elizabeth I, and in this she was certainly on a par with her role in The Long Good Friday. Highly recommended. (Confession – I haven’t seen the original film, nor read the novel – whether this is a good or bad thing, I don’t know.) The only change I’d make would be John Hurt – good though he is, he wasn’t particularly good in this. A generous four stars (which means I feel it should have been nominated for a couple of Oscars)."

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