London River (2011)
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Critic Reviews for London River
It's astonishingly moving, in its quiet, harrowing, weary way, although you may rightly ask: if it's so painful, why would I want to sit though it? Because, my dears, that is life.
The film is a matter of Brenda Blethyn's performance vs. Sotigui Kouyate's presence.
It would be nice to say that Bouchareb, who also wrote and directed "Days of Glory" and "Outside the Law," succeeds. He does not entirely. But he doesn't fail, either.
Blethyn and Kouyaté inhabit and expand the film's earnestly instructive intentions, leaving us with a deeply-felt experience rather than a naively-sketched lesson.
"London River'' features on-target acting by its two leads, but they receive scant support from the wobbly plot.
Audience Reviews for London River
On July 7, 2005, Elisabeth(Brenda Blethyn) is watching the news when reports start to come in of the terrorist bombings in London and tries calling her daughter there. After a couple of days and no response, she leaves her home in Guernsey and travels to London. When her daughter is not in at her apartment, her landlord(Roschdy Zem) kindly lets Elisabeth in to wait for her. Meanwhile, Ousmane(Sotigui Kouyate) has arrived from France to look for his son who he has not seen since he was six and asks a local imam(Sami Bouajila) for help. "London River" is a poignant, evocative and devastating movie that shows that sometimes simple is the best way to go, headlined as it is by a couple of superb performances. The movie also works well in bringing a huge tragedy down to a deeply personal level. And making it more interesting is the subject of Elisabeth's ignorance of not only her daughter's life in London but also of multicultural London in general, far away from her isolated farm, just as Ousmane also has little idea of what his son is like now grown up. But like any parent, Elisabeth and Ousmane worry about their children, even now that they are adults.
Very touching film. Well made. I have always thought that Brenda Blethyn was an exceptional actress...I still think so. She carried most of the movie herself, and she did it very well.
A beautiful story of two souls whose loved ones are overtaken by grander tragic events and how they find a connection that goes beyond language, prejudice, culture and life background.