Kiss Of Life review

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Katrin Cartlidge's untimely death robbed Emily Young's debut feature of its first-choice leading lady. It also casts a shadow of pathos over her thoughtful meditation on love, loss and death.

Originally titled Helen Of Peckham, Kiss Of Life casts Lithuanian-born actress Ingeborga Dapkunaite (Burnt By The Sun) as a young mother-of-two. Killed one morning in a hit-and-run accident, she lingers in ghostly limbo, watching the kids until her aid-worker hubby (Peter Mullan) can make the arduous journey back from war-torn eastern Europe.

Poetic, heartfelt and structurally ambitious, Young's ghost story is also agonisingly slow and suffers from an inflated sense of its own importance - punctured slightly by the unwitting resemblance between Mullan's protracted commute and Steve Martin's similar tribulations in Planes, Trains & Automobiles. Patient - very patient - audiences may find something to move and even inspire them. Everyone else will find it a bit of a trek.

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