Review: ‘The Ploughman’s Lunch’

Pic is set in the heartland of bourgeois England among its media creators and academic pontificators, and runs the period from the first spark of 1982's Falklands warlet to the victory speech of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher at her party's gungho autumn shindig.

Pic is set in the heartland of bourgeois England among its media creators and academic pontificators, and runs the period from the first spark of 1982’s Falklands warlet to the victory speech of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher at her party’s gungho autumn shindig.

But those events are only a backdrop to the multi-layered story of a group of people who are either off the rails or suffering an acute lack of human commitment. It’s a plot that could have turned out over-schematic, but Richard Eyre’s strong directorial hand shows in delicately ambivalent performances from all players.

The film evidently springs from its author Ian McEwan’s heart in characterizing the radio journalist played by Jonathan Pryce as lacking in virtue and understanding. His sins include political convictions that blow with the wind; neglect of a dying mother, leading on an older woman, and a fruitless infatuation with the TV researcher played by Charlie Dore.

Film reaches an astonishing climax during the Conservative party conference, where crew and cast filmed undercover.

The Ploughman's Lunch

Production

Greenpoint/Goldcrest/White. Director Richard Eyre; Producer Simon Relph, Ann Scott; Screenplay Ian McEwan; Camera Clive Tickner; Editor David Martin; Music Dominic Muldowney; Art Director Luciana Arrighi

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1983. Running time: 100 MIN.

With

Jonathan Pryce Tim Curry Rosemary Harris Frank Finlay Charlie Dore Bill Paterson
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