I almost didn’t go. The reviews were pretty meah. I’d not read the book, even though it had had strong reviews. Maybe it was one of those transitions to the screen that don’t work.
And then the timing. The start of the showing would coincide with penalties if the Lionesses – the England woman’s’ footie team – didn’t best the Germans in normal plus extra time.
And if they did go to penalties, history suggests I’d need a defibrillator not darkened movie theatre.
But the women won, my heart rate retained a beat in double figures and the Vet her enthusiasm to see it. Oh yes, it’s Where The Crawdads Sing. I still haven’t looked up what a crawdad is but I’m guessing a bird.
And it was good. A fine performance by the English actress playing a backwoods American. I’ve no idea if her accent works for locals, though at least it didn’t circle through about fifteen regional variations as did Anne Hathaway when she tried to master the elongated Yorkshire vowels in One Day.
The story – which may or may not – follow the book is a little trite: abandoned girl wins out against the odds and finds true love etc. It is a little unbelievable that the lead looks after herself in an isolated cabin for most of her teenaged years. There’s a sense of a bit of tokenism in that the only black couple are the most caring and worthy unlike most of the white folks with the exception of the kindly old lawyer modelled on To Kill A Mockingbird; one of the delights of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri and make it a great film if you’ve not caught it yet is the fact no one is perfect and many of those who are often written into caricature – the white police chief, say – are decent for all their flaws and prejudices.
But all of that is not to decry a decent evening’s watch. Daisy Edgar- Jones is a star and worth the entrance money alone.
One thing: in British films, the did she/didn’t she part of the story would have played out as a forensic/police procedural whereas here it’s a court room drama. Maybe it’s the politicised nature of prosecutions in the US that make that more realistic, because in the UK you’d feel the prosecution case would fail early doors. It does slow the action, rather, all that gavel banging and ‘I objecting’.
And the dodgy reviews? Well there were some but the one I remembered was from a different film, part of the Marvel-not-Marvellous franchise so I’m glad we ignored it.