Directed by: Jessica Swale
UK, 2020, 99m
On the seaside cliffs of Southern England, while World War II rages across the channel, Alice (Gemma Arterton, Vita & Virginia, FFF 2019), a reclusive writer, is resigned to a solitary life, using her scientific background to debunk the existence of other-worldly forces and magic. But her world is turned upside down when she is tasked with caring for Frank, a frightened and innocent young boy seeking shelter from the London blitz. Over sun-dappled days in the Sussex countryside, Frank’s curiosity and open-mindedness unlock deeply buried and painful secrets in Alice’s past, and make her re-evaluate what it really means to free one’s imagination. Co-starring Gugu Mbatha Raw (Belle) and the great Tom Courtenay (45 Years), Summerland is the feature directorial debut of Jessica Swale, an acclaimed writer who won an Olivier Award for her play Nell Gwynn. Anchored by Arterton, who continues to prove herself one of the most gifted actors working today by delivering humor and heartbreak with sublime ease and brilliant depth of character, this beautiful and uplifting film explores the sometimes-complicated dynamics of what makes a family a family.