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These Foolish Things


Stars: Zoe Tapper, Terence Stamp, Lauren Bacall, Anjelica Huston, Joss Ackland, Julia McKenzie

Director: Julia Taylor-Stanley

Diana (Tapper), an aspiring actress in the London of the late 1930s, falls for both a playwright (David Leon) and a director (Andrew Lincoln), not surprisingly landing the lead in a play in which both are involved - to the chagrin of the leading man, a gay, narcissistic matinee idol (Mark Umbers), who fancies the playwright for himself.

Though set in 1937/8, the film's sentiments and costumes seem much closer to the 1920s. And, despite one or two good lines - 'Feel like a prawn, sir?' the butler (Stamp) asks a discomfited guy who has turned up in DJ to a casual do - the film is sunk without trace by insensitive direction and an inadequate leading lady, not that performances elsewhere - even from Huston and Bacall - are that much better.

Cliches - 'With every fibre of my being' - and such anachronisms as 'acting chops' will make you wince if you're still awake.

David Quinlan

UK 2005. UK Distributor: 111 Pictures. Colour by De Luxe.
103 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 01 Jan 2006