Film, Drama
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The 1930s is a glorious era in which to set a film: all that flappering, chain-smoking and pre-war misbehaving, combined with outré outfits and jazz-baby music, usually guarantees a good time, if nothing else. Perhaps Jordan Scott (daughter of Ridley) presumed that the setting alone would ensure that her script unspooled as smoothly as a Capra comedy; if so, she gravely underestimated the difficulties inherent in making something look effortless. And the ill-conceived casting doesn’t help.

On a remote island topped only by a village and a posh school, a group of girls led by Di (Juno Temple, reprising her ‘Atonement’ role as precocious enfant terrible) cluster adoringly round their beautiful, sophisticated teacher, Miss G (Eva Green). She coaches them in diving – presumably for lack of any more enticing after-school activity, although the metaphorical weight of all that carefully orchestrated falling is like a wallop with a wet fish. All is in harmony, give or take a spot of bullying, until a lovely Spanish aristocrat turns up and Miss G – who is, surprise, surprise, not quite what she seems – becomes obsessed with the new girl. Scott has fashioned a film as ponderous as it is obvious, weighed down by a string-heavy soundtrack and achingly slow editing, and starring a gorgeous French actress who is as suited to this role –  a hick, British-bred teacher – as Neville Chamberlain was to that of prime minister.

By: Nina Caplan


Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Friday December 4 2009
Duration: 104 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Jordan Scott
Screenwriter: Ben Court, Caroline Ip
Cast: Eva Green
Juno Temple
Mariá Valverde
Sinead Cusack

Average User Rating

2.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
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A bit "Picnic at hanging Rock " meets "St. Trinnians". The girls seemed too much of a rag-bag mixed aged bunch but I quite liked the film although the ending was all rather inevitable. It certainly deserves better than 1 *

The movie throws more questions than it should answer. Postcard-material sceneries remind you of Brokeback Mountain.

I watched this in a double bill with Picnic at Hanging Rock and thought it stood up well in comparison. Beautifully shot, very well acted and rather intriguing. I now know not to trust Time Out reviews...

I agree with the reviewer, this was one boring pretentious film. Totally miscast and directed by someone who should be making perfume ads instead.

Gee whizz Nina! Did Jordan do something nasty to you ina past life? The film is a little slow but I don't generally like these kinds of films so don't listen too much to my opinion. I thought it was better than Atonement so that might give you some idea. Sticking with Nina's theme of not actually writing about the film, Neville Chamberlain was a good peace time Prime Minister and you shouldn't darken his name with your (assumedly) jingoistic insinuations that he wasn't as good as Winston Churchill - for the record Churchill wasn't a very good peace time prime minister. Perhaps a better simile would be ' Nina Caplan was to history teacher, or film critic.' At least your simile works to the extent that people have heard of Neville Chamberlain.

A far better film than this mean little review would have you believe, Cracks is a wonderfully atmospheric, absorbing drama, with well acted by Juno Temple and Maria Valverde, and Eva Green shines too, as an unstrung and unbalanced teacher. Don't think I've ever heard a review so unconvincing; As a reviewer, you are entitled to dislike a film, but if you must impugn the motives of a director, as least let it make some kind of sense and be just a little plausible. That Jordan Scott would make the assumptions about the 'setting' attributed to her in the first paragraph here beggars belief ; the whole nasty little review is just insulting to her and to readers. If you can make that kind of lazy assertion, I'd hate to see what damage you would do with an actual screenplay. TO readers shouldn't be put off by this; go see the film - it's worth it.