Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Sleeping Beauty of East Finchley

The Sleeping Beauty of East Finchley, dir. Séamus Rea, 2010 UK, 50 min. 
Thu. 6/16, 10:00p @ Castro, SLEE16C
Mon. 6/20, 7:00p @ Elmwood, SLEE20E

Joan (Josie Walker)
Joan (Josie Walker) has a humdrum life, coming home from her boring job to care for her invalid mother, until the visiting nurse Pat (Ruth James) uncovers their shared passion for music, persuading Joan to join the “Friends of Dusty” women’s choir. The trouble is, Joan is a good Irish Catholic lass, so she has a heaping helping of guilt around using her beautiful voice for something other than the church choir, leading her to back out of singing the solo for the Friends of Dusty’s big performance at the big LGBT music festival in London.
The musical performances are all top-notch, and the film is worth seeing just for them. Josie Walker brings Joan’s conflicted feelings bursting through the screen and makes the audience ache with her need to let her light shine, no matter what the Pope says. A moving story, beautifully done; Highly recommended.

There’s a special thanks at the end to “The Deep C Divas” from Sheffield, whose performance of “Will Ye Go Lassie Go” at the Sydney Gay Games inspired the story, so here’s a shout-out to them.

The Sleeping Beauty of East Finchley screens with two additional films that were not available for review prior to the festival screening:
  • The Colonel’s Outing, dir. Christopher Banks, 2011 New Zealand, 17 min.

  • I Still Love Them (Je les aime encore), dir. Marie-Pierre Grenier, 2010 Canada, 13 min., in French with English subtitles

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