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The War Bride review

Rogue Trader, Mad Cows, The Land Girls - Anna Friel has been involved with more than her fair share of cinematic duds, and this dreary Anglo-Canadian co-production is sure to prolong her losing streak.

Friel plays Lily, an orphaned seamstress in the Blitz who falls for a strapping Canadian soldier Charlie (Aden Young). Two weeks later they're married, but he's then posted to frontline duty and she's told to emigrate to join Charlie's family in Alberta. Home now becomes a dilapidated shack in the middle of nowhere, and neither his puritanical mother (Brenda Fricker) nor his crippled sister (Molly Parker) seem to be the welcoming types...

Unable to conjure up anything approaching visual flair, director Lyndon Chubbuck trudges through this predictable, conservative drama, where, naturally, Canadian reticence is no match for jaunty British pluckiness ("Keep your pecker up" is Lily's Cockney refrain). You know that something's amiss when the characters undergo all manner of sufferings, yet the viewer is left emotionally untouched.

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