Firelight review

Oscar-winning screenwriter William Nicholson's (Shadowlands) directorial debut is a period pic in which portraying emotions takes precedence over re-creating mid-19th century life. Two strangers, Elizabeth (Marceau) and Charles (Dillane) meet in Normandy and shag for three days; Marceau is paid a sizable sum to cancel family debt, while Charles gets the child his wife can't give him. Years later, Elizabeth, unbeknown to Charles, is appointed as a governess to teach their brattish daughter. The couple realise they're in love and when the tot realises teacher is Mum all ends nicely.

While Firelight's merits rest in Nicholson's plausible script, a fluid performance from Marceau and stunning photography, it still misses the mark. Nicholson clumsily glues these elements together, to the point where the film creaks like old furniture. Passable, but ultimately disappointing.


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