Review: Langrishe, Go Down

UK, David Hugh Jones (1978)

My Dame Judi Dench-a-thon continues with this made-for-BBC literary adaptation. Somehow I missed the fact that the screenplay was written by Harold Pinter or it never would have hit my Netflix queue in the first place. I kept watching though even after the Pinter credit rolled up on screen; an excruciating two hours that felt like four. I was shifting around so much on the couch in an effort to stay awake and engaged that the poor cat never had a chance to get settled on my lap and drift into a nap.

The story concerns the ill-fated romance between an Irish woman on the verge of spinsterhood, decaying with her sisters in their family’s mouldering mansion, and a pompous perpetual grad student from Germany. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a movie with Jeremy Irons in it and I realized while watching Langrishe that I haven’t missed him one jot. It took about ten seconds for the accent he employs in this role to get on my nerves. Judi is fine, but even her performance–along with that of Annette Crosbie as her older sister who’s further along in the emotional atrophy process–can’t save what’s a boring, overly intellectual film.

Langrishe, Go Down (and I never did figure out what the title means) was pretentiously awful, and awfully pretentious. [*]

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