In cinemas December 2019
Director: Lisa Barros D’Sa, Glenn Leyburn
Cast: Liam Neeson, Lesley Manville, David Wilmot Country: UK 2019 Running time: 92 mins UK Distribution Universal Pictures International
A befitting title in many ways, Ordinary Love shines a light on a compatible, unassuming married couple facing one of life’s ordeals over the course of a year between Christmases. Joan (Lesley Manville) is diagnosed with breast cancer after finding a lump while showering. She and her husband Tom (Liam Neeson) live in a tidy, unfashionable suburb leading an unvaried life walking, shopping and cooking, with an occasional meal out. They fit together comfortably, share a sense of humour and, of course, they bicker pointlessly. They’re simply an ordinary, older couple in a long-standing relationship that has weathered time and the trials of life. As Joan undergoes a mastectomy and chemotherapy, Tom wavers between trying to support Joan and struggling to cope with his fear of hospitals.
Ordinary Love is adept at showing the day to day plight of this excruciating illness without overplaying desperation even though echoes of death underpins the film. Both leads are given some priceless lines just in time to alleviate passages of unbearable gloom
Lesley Manville and Liam Neeson are perfectly cast together and make Ordinary Love far from ordinary. This is a “keep calm and carry on” film in a considering sense with serious undertones and plenty of witty asides.
(First Reviewed, Special Presentation, London Film Festival, October 2019)