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Withnail And I review

On holiday by mistake...

The ubiquitous student quote-a-longs and drinking games haven’t dented the freshness of writer/director Bruce Robinson’s 1987 autobiographical comedy, as struggling thesps Richard E. Grant and Paul McGann head on ‘holiday’ to escape their failure.

The film is celebrated for the salty eloquence of its dialogue and the bravura big-screen debut of Grant as Withnail. But just as vital is Robinson’s command of texture and tone: the faded period detail of the non-swinging ’60s is impeccable, while the swerve to tragedy is seamless. A career high for all concerned, including ’80s British cinema.

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