The Winter Guest review

Alan Rickman steps behind the lens to direct fellow luvvies Emma Thompson and her mum, Phyllida Law, in a screen adaptation of the play of the same name. Set in Scotland, this glumly bleak tale details Elspeth's (Law) relationship with her daughter Frances, who's trying to come to terms with the death of her husband. The film's main triumph is its crisp photography, which overflows with poetic, dreamy shots of snow-covered, picture-postcard winter landscapes. Not surprisingly, the chemistry between Law and Thompson is entirely believable and often enjoyable, doing a great deal of justice to a script which, while lacking substance, is always emotionally charged. That said, the plot never takes you beyond a portentous mother/daughter stroll along the beach and, regardless of Rickman's fine efforts behind the lens, the overall effect leaves you cold.

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