Directed by: Paul Pavlikovsky
Written by:Paul Pavlikovsky
Starring: Nathalie Press, Emily Blunt, Paddy Considine
Released: June 30, 2005
Grade: A

I just love watching a great film which I know nothing about.  You have no expectations and no idea which way the story is heading.  Then again, I should have known more about My Summer Of Love.  It won the British Academy Award earlier this year for best British film.  The field included Harry Potter & The Prisoner Of Azkaban, Shaun Of The Dead and Vera Drake.

The film revolves around two teenage girls, Mona (Press) and Tamsin (Blunt), who spend every moment of their summer holiday together.  They make a strange pairing because their lives are almost a complete contradiction.

Mona lives with her brother Phil (Considine) in a run-down pub.  Phil is an ex-criminal who has now discovered God.  He’s continually involved in prayer and has shut down the pub on God’s wishes.  She has few friends and has been caught up in a foolish relationship with a married man who only wants her as a cheap lover.

Tamsin attends boarding school and has returned for the summer to spend time with her family’s in their lavish mansion.  She has a horse which she rides across the countryside and amuses herself by getting drunk on her father’s wine collection (which I’m sure is worth a dollar or two).

The common link between the Mona and Tamsin is that they are bored.  They stumble upon each other by chance and a friendship is formed.  This may sound like some schmaltzy teen comedy but it is anything but.  Together, they engage is a summer of self-exploration that might please some and shock others.  They have created their own blissful world and no one else can penetrate it.

This beautiful story has all been immaculately captured by writer-director Paul Pavlikovsky who has based the film on the novel by Helen Cross.  It is the cinematography from Ryszard Lenczewski which struck me most.  The colourings are perfect and the close-ups and camera angles incredibly precise.  Instead of having the characters tell us how they feel, you have to gauge for yourself by watching their eyes and facial expressions.

My Summer Of Love is a wonderful character study and stars Nathalie Press and Emily Blunt also deserve praise.  It’s likely you will have seen neither on screen before but you will certainly see them again in the future.  The only known actor of the cast is Paddy Considine who you may recall from 2003’s In America.

When the British get it right, they sure know how to make a great motion picture.  As voted by the British Academy, the best British films of the past five years have included Touching The Void (2004), Gosford Park (2002), Billy Elliot (2001) and East Is East (2000).  That’s a superb list and I’m overjoyed to see My Summer Of Love added to the list.