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Thousand Kisses Deep, A


Stars: Jodie Whittaker, Dougray Scott, David Warner, Emilia Fox, Allan Corduner, Jonathan Slinger, Charlotte Lucas, Eloise Barnes

Director: Dana Lustig

Moving into a new block of flats with an eccentric lift and a fairly odd landlord (Warner), Mia (Whittaker) starts having visions of herself as both an older and younger woman. Poking around the apartment of an elderly tenant who's committed suicide, Mia finds stacks of memorabilia that relates to herself, together with pictures of the older-than-herself trumpet player, Ludwig (Scott), with whom she had a disastrous sado-masochistic relationship from which she never managed to recover.

Disobeying the landlord's instruction not to take anything, Mia finds herself ushered by him into the lift, which, like Scrooge's spirits, leads her to stages of her former life, the destiny of which she becomes determined to change.

Unlike Dickens, director Lustig never manages to overcome the silliness of all this. Some of the dialogue skirts dangerously near to risibility, and it's inconceivable that Ludwig wouldn't notice the resemblance between the younger Mia and her eight-years-older 'visitor' when they appear together in scenes with him. Introducing Mia as a flesh-and-blood spectator in her own past (and future) is in fact another mistake, and we might also ask if changing the course of destiny obliterates Mia's memory of the past? It doesn't seem so.

Scott is brilliant miming the trumpet, and not bad as a singer either, but comes on a bit too strong with the drawling charm. Whittaker isn't strong enough as the beleaguered Mia, but Fox, far from her mousy scientist in TV's Silent Witness, enjoys herself as the young Mia's alcoholic, drug-fuelled, amoral mother.

David Quinlan

UK 2010. UK Distributor: Goldcrest. Colour by deluxe.
81 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 1, Swearing 1.

Review date: 14 Jun 2012