A beaten-down ex-con and bookish middle-aged spinster: not the obvious choice for screen romance. First-time director Lynch defies the cinema truism that love can only blossom where at least one member of the couple is young and pert with this gentle drama. And he has scored the jackpot in his cast - - Hurt and Blethyn make their tentative steps towards intimacy utterly compelling.
Hurt's crooked accountant is a hollow man, sick of running and seeking sanctuary. For a time, he thinks he might have found peace as the lodger in the house that Blethyn shares with her meddlesome mother, but his past catches up with him in the shape of the local crime lord. And it's this subplot which lets down the film - - the suspense is non-existent and the gangsters are pure ham compared to the finely-drawn leads.