Nicely frosted by Joseph Losey's cool precision, this 1971 film, based on a novel by L.P. Hartley, is the primal tale of a young boy who becomes the messenger between a proper English lady (Julie Christie) and the farmer with whom she is having an affair (Alan Bates). It's very much in the tradition of the British “well-made” film, with excellent photography, set decoration, and performances (particularly from the boy, Dominic Guard, and Margaret Leighton). High craft like this can sometimes kill a film (cf The French Lieutenant's Woman), but Losey is able to use its repressive implications to highly expressive ends. With Michael Redgrave and Michael Gough; screenplay by Harold Pinter.
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