Jim Carter, Phyllis Logan, Rob James-Collier, Raquel Cassidy, Sophie McShera, Michael Fox, Peter Egan and Lesley Nicol - Photo Call for Downton Abbey cast members supporting charity night at the Plaisterers Hall in aid of Animals Asia - London, United Kingdom - Friday 26th June 2015
Michael Fox, Hugh Bonneville, Jim Carter, Joanne Froggatt, Rob James-Collier, Phyllis Logan, Sophie McShera and Lesley Nicol - Downton Abbey gala dinner for Special Olympics GB held at the Landmark Hotel. - London, United Kingdom - Wednesday 24th June 2015
Despite a very wobbly screenplay, this film's decent cast and gorgeous setting make it worth a look. It may be a somewhat awkward mix of comical slapstick, political ideas and darker drama, but the characters hold our interest, and the story is tangled enough to keep us wondering how it will work itself out.
It starts in Glasgow, where the political activist Rosa (Birthistle) decides to take her father's ashes to Cuba, where he once worked as an activist himself and met his wife, who later died there. Rosa's fashion-obsessed sister Allie (Wakefield) decides to come along, as well as Rosa's sardonic pal Conway (Dick). As they travel across the Cuban countryside they have a series of misadventures and meet two local men (Acosta and Simpson) who are a little too sexy and helpful to be trusted. And Rosa is reluctant to either fall in love or rely on any man.
Rosa's prickly personality is a big problem for a film that asks us to take a trip with her. She's so abrasive that she's not easy to like, and Birthistle struggles to make her sympathetic. Thankfully, she's an engaging actor who brings out Rosa's shock at having her idealism challenged by reality. And she has terrific chemistry with Acosta and Simpson, who are superb even as they simplistically represent certain aspects of Cuban society. Wakefield's story arc is less involving, but she's a lot of fun to watch, and Dick walks off with the film in an underwritten comic-relief role.
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