Sightseers

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Sightseers

French film poster
Directed byBen Wheatley
Produced byEdgar Wright
Jenny Borgars
Katherine Butler
Claire Jones
Matthew Justice
Nira Park
Danny Perkins
Andrew Starke
Written byAlice Lowe
Steve Oram
Amy Jump
StarringAlice Lowe
Steve Oram
CinematographyLaurie Rose
StudioStudioCanal
Big Talk Pictures
Film4 Productions
BFI Film Fund
Rook Films
Distributed byStudioCanal UK (UK)
IFC Films (USA)
Rialto Distribution (Australia, New Zealand)
Release date(s)
  • 23 May 2012 (2012-05-23) (Cannes)
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish
 
Jump to: navigation, search
Sightseers

French film poster
Directed byBen Wheatley
Produced byEdgar Wright
Jenny Borgars
Katherine Butler
Claire Jones
Matthew Justice
Nira Park
Danny Perkins
Andrew Starke
Written byAlice Lowe
Steve Oram
Amy Jump
StarringAlice Lowe
Steve Oram
CinematographyLaurie Rose
StudioStudioCanal
Big Talk Pictures
Film4 Productions
BFI Film Fund
Rook Films
Distributed byStudioCanal UK (UK)
IFC Films (USA)
Rialto Distribution (Australia, New Zealand)
Release date(s)
  • 23 May 2012 (2012-05-23) (Cannes)
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish

Sightseers is a British black comedy thriller film directed by Ben Wheatley and is written by and stars Alice Lowe and Steve Oram, with additional material from Amy Jump.[1] The film has been selected be screened in the Directors' Fortnight section at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.[2][3]

Contents

Plot

Chris (Steve Oram) wants to show Tina (Alice Lowe) his world and he wants to do it his way – on a journey through this sceptred isle in his beloved caravan. Tina's led a sheltered life and there are things that Chris needs her to see – the Crich Tramway Museum, the Ribblehead Viaduct, the Keswick Pencil Museum and the rolling countryside that separates these wonders in his life. But it doesn't take long for the dream to fade. Litterbugs, noisy teenagers and pre-booked camp sites, not to mention Tina's meddling mother, soon conspire to shatter Chris's dreams and send him, and anyone who rubs him up the wrong way, over a very jagged edge.[4]

Cast

Production

The characters came together seven years before the film came out as Lowe and Oram swapped stories based on their common background and childhood holiday experiences. However, the pitch kept getting turned down for being too dark, so they put it online and Lowe sent the link to Edgar Wright, who she had worked with on Hot Fuzz. Wright greenlit the project, so Lowe and Oram did more research and took a caravanning holiday to the locations that would go on to be featured in the film.[5] Ben Wheatley has said that all the locations were very helpful, even after they explained the nature of the film, because they "tried to make sure that it was open and fair to places, and that they weren’t the butt of jokes."[6]

The two were also inspired by Withnail and I.[5]

Reception

The critical reception has been good, with review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes giving it a rating of 88% based on 34 reviews.[7]

Peter Bradshaw reviewed the film twice for The Guardian, first after its preview at Cannes, when he suggested "Wheatley could be suffering from difficult third album syndrome: this is not as mysterious and interesting as Kill List; its effects are more obvious and the encounters between the naturalistically conceived antiheroes and the incidental, sketch-comedy posh characters is a little uneasy. By the end, I got the sense that in terms of character and narrative the film was running out of ideas – just a bit."[8] However, he looked at it again on its theatrical release and admitted that "when I first saw it, I think I might have got out of bed the right side" going on to say "a second viewing has further revealed just how superb are the effortless performances of Steve Oram and Alice Lowe, who are the movie's writers (working with Wheatley's longtime co-writer Amy Jump), and whose creative ownership makes a purely auteurist comparison with Kill List slightly less relevant." He suggests a number of parallels: "an obvious comparison with Mike Leigh's Nuts in May, and there are even traces of Victoria Wood and Alan Bennett, whose gentler, observational comedy is turned into something nightmarish, bringing in an exquisitely horrible Readers' Wives aesthetic", concluding that "[t]he chilling and transgressive flourishes are carried off with deadpan confidence; it's a distinctive and brutally unsettling piece of work""[9] Kim Newman wrote in Empire magazine that Sightseers is a "uniquely British blend of excruciating comedy of embarrassment and outright grue, not quite as disorientating in its mood shifts as Kill List but just as impressive a film."[10] The Guardian asked an editor of Caravan Magazine for his opinion and he thought the film, which he described as "absolutely brilliant", accurately captured the details of caravanning holidays[11]

However, the praise wasn't unanimous. The Financial Times' Nigel Andrews conclusion was "There are a few laughs; a few wise nods. But before the end fatigue arrives and doesn’t go away."[12]

References

  1. ^ Plumb, Ali (3 October 2011). "Ben Wheatley Is Now Shooting Sightseers". Empire. http://www.empireonline.com/news/story.asp?NID=32120. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
  2. ^ Leffler, Rebecca (24 April 2012). "Cannes 2012: Michel Gondry’s 'The We & The I' to Open Director's Fortnight". The Hollywood Reporter. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/michel-gondry-cannes-film-festival-directors-fortnight-314985. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
  3. ^ "2012 Selection". quinzaine-realisateurs.com. Directors' Fortnight. http://www.quinzaine-realisateurs.com/2012-selection-h201.html. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
  4. ^ Brown, Todd (12 October 2011). "Ben Wheatley's Sightseers is Under Way". Twitch Film. http://twitchfilm.com/news/2011/10/ben-wheatleys-sightseers-is-under-way.php. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
  5. ^ a b Godfrey, Alex (23 November 2012). "Sightseers: Alice Lowe and the secret terrors of caravanning". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2012/nov/23/alice-lowe-sightseers. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
  6. ^ Brew, Simon (29 November 2012). "Ben Wheatley interview: Sightseers, Freakshift, A Field In England". Den of Geek. http://www.denofgeek.com/movies/23626/ben-wheatley-interview-sightseers-freakshift-a-field-in-england. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
  7. ^ Sightseers at Rotten Tomatoes
  8. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (24 May 2012). "Cannes 2012: Sightseers – review". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2012/may/24/sightseers-review. Retrieved 2 December 2012.3/5 stars
  9. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (29 November 2012). "Sightseers – review". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2012/nov/29/sightseers-review. Retrieved 2 December 2012.4/5 stars
  10. ^ Newman, Kim (25 November 2012). "Empire's Sightseers Movie Review". Empire. http://www.empireonline.com/reviews/reviewcomplete.asp?FID=137813. Retrieved 2 December 2012.4/5 stars
  11. ^ Barnett, Laura (4 December 2012). "A caravan enthusiast's verdict on Sightseers". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2012/dec/04/caravan-enthusiast-view-sightseers. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
  12. ^ Andrews, Nigel (29 November 2012). "Feeding frenzy in the barnyard". Financial Times. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/70a4865a-3a0f-11e2-a00d-00144feabdc0.html. Retrieved 2 December 2012.3/5 stars

External links