Pauline Collins, Tom Conti
time: 108 mins
gem of a movie about middle-aged angst remains side-splittingly
funny and true to life.
from winning a Broadway Tony Award for her performance in
the stage version, English actress Pauline Collins recreated
the magic all over again on the big screen in 1989, and was
nominated for the Best Actress Oscar (won by Jessicca Tandy
for Driving Miss Daisy).
plays the Shirley of the title, a bored middle-aged Liverpool
housewife who laments the loss of passion in her marriage
to Joe (Bernard Hill). Reduced to talking to the kitchen wall
while she prepares Joe's supper, Shirley reflects on her lost
youth and wonders if life has any surprises - or joy - left.
once cared, but now he's grown insensitive to Shirley's feeling
and takes her for granted, so Shirley seizes the chance to
leave him behind for a taste of adventure when her friend
Jane (Alison Steadman) wins a trip for two to Greece.
has the cork come out of the wine bottle on the sun-kissed
islands than Shirley meets handsome village local Costas (Tom
Conti), a rogue lothario with a smooth line of chat for lonely
English women on holiday. Soon, Shirley's two-week vacation
turns into the trip of a lifetime, and returning home isn't
in the cards.
what about Joe?
God Hollywood didn't get its hands on this and ruin it. Instead
of some stick-thin babe from Beverly Hills, we get Collins,
who fearlessly plays the role as she is - slightly overweight
and frayed around the edges. She's all the more vulnerable,
gorgeous and appealing for it.
hilarious and ultimately touching take on the human condition
- I just wished Paramount had included some cast interviews
or other extras.