Strolling around Merchant Ivory territory, The Last September is ostensibly a study about the final days of the Anglo-Irish nobility, who upheld London's rule of Ireland from the Middle Ages to the 1920s.
While the IRA and the British army slug it out, an ensemble of aristos converge on the country estate of Sir Richard Naylor (Gambon) and wife Lady Myra (Smith) who, despite the upheavals, try to carry on regardless. Meanwhile, the Naylors' niece, Lois Farquar (Hawes), is approaching womanhood. But it's tricky when her chief suitor is an English officer and the object of her desire is IRA guerrilla Peter Connolly (Lydon)...
The Jane Austen-style concern over who Lois will cop off with amid this potent setting is somewhat bloodless, but it's still a beautifully crafted feature debut from director Deborah Warner.