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Leave All Fair

Lensed entirely in France, this elegiac story about the husband of New Zealand writer Katherine Mansfield, who died in 1922 while returning to places where they'd lived together to oversee the publishing of a book based on her letters to him, is a sober, affecting experience.

Lensed entirely in France, this elegiac story about the husband of New Zealand writer Katherine Mansfield, who died in 1922 while returning to places where they’d lived together to oversee the publishing of a book based on her letters to him, is a sober, affecting experience.

John Gielgud, playing another elderly man of letters, returns to France to meet his publisher (Feodor Atkine). The trip brings back memories of his life with Mansfield (Jane Birkin), memories made more painful when he meets Atkine’s mistress, Marie (also played by Birkin), who not only resembles his long-dead wife, but is also a New Zealander.

Lushly photographed pic is as gentle and nuanced as Mansfield’s own writings, and the scenes between Gielgud and Birkin play with subtlety and insight.

Leave All Fair

New Zealand

  • Production: Pacific/Goldeneye/Challenge. Director John Reid; Producer John O'Shea; Screenplay Stanley Harper, Maurice Pons, Jean Betts, John Reid; Camera Bernard Lutic; Editor Ian John; Music Stephen McCurdy; Art Director Joe Bleakley
  • Crew: (Color) Extract of a review from 1985. Running time: 88 MIN.
  • With: John Gielgud Jane Birkin Feodor Atkine Simon Ward