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The Levelling — weirdly powerful

The Levelling — weirdly powerful

The Levelling — weirdly powerful
May 14
19:00 2017
Booking.com


Question: What is the difference between Stella Gibbons and Edward Gibbon? Answer: None, when the film in question is The Levelling. In British writer-director Hope Dickson Leach’s weirdly powerful debut, Cold Comfort Farm meets The Decline and Fall of the Agricultural Empire. Atmos (local) is fused with apocalypse (national). The old Somerset farmer (David Troughton) caravan-dwelling beside his flood-ruined home — insurers won’t pay up — bonds, or tries to, with the estranged daughter (Ellie Kendrick of Game of Thrones), back for the funeral of her brother, who may have committed suicide. It’s that year of West Country flood catastrophe, 2014.

There’s lots of gloom and glums; lots of dialogue teetering on the gauche brink of the expository. (A whole family past must be packed into the parleys.) Yet the film grows and grows. Not just as a character piece with pain and poignancy; also as a swirly, dystopian, ugly-beautiful landscape painting. Here, Constable is the invisible police artist sketching dark rural troubles, while Turner is the pastoral pathologist turning over stones and sods to find the creepy, egregious things beneath.