Summer in February

Film, Drama
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  • 1 out of 5 stars
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Summer in February

When British actors play arty-boho types, it almost always looks try-hard. Trouble is, we’ve seen it all before, the skinny dipping and the girls in fishermen’s jumpers with scarves knotted in their hair. This wobbly period drama is based on events between 1912 and 1914 at a Cornish artists’ colony whose residents were the hippies of their day. Dominic Cooper (‘Mamma Mia!’) stars as Alfred James ‘AJ’ Munnings, a bad boy artist embroiled in a love triangle with army officer Gilbert, played by Dan Stevens – cousin Matthew from ‘Downton Abbey’, nice-but-dull in wellies again.

The object of their affections is Florence, played by Emily Browning, who has to do little more than look beautiful and muse-like. Florence, silly thing, says ‘I do’ to the pissed artist. She’s meant to be a troubled soul, but ‘Summer in February’ is not big on internal drama, and there are some hilarious serious bits (one involving a bottle labelled ‘POISON’ – just in case you missed it). With some tinkering, this might just have made a decent Sunday night comfort-telly three-parter.

By: Cath Clarke


Release details

Release date: Friday June 14 2013
Duration: 100 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Christopher Menaul
Screenwriter: Jonathan Smith
Cast: Dominic Cooper
Emily Browning
Dan Stevens
Hattie Morahan
1 person listening

I saw this film barely a week after its opening and only a handful of other cinema goers was the first sign that the evening was not going to be as enjoyable as I had expected. The cinematography was good and most of the roles were acted reasonably well, but the film is intensely dull. It was a real struggle to stay awake in the first forty minutes but, having done so, I was so pleased with myself that I managed to do so for the rest of the film as well. However, there was not much else to commend this film. One of those forgettable films that does everything possible to help you do that. Thumbs down.