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Friends and Crocodiles (2005)

Cast: Damian Lewis, Jodhi May, Eddie Marsan, more...
Director: Stephen Poliakoff, Stephen Poliakoff
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: BBC Warner
Genre: Drama, Foreign, UK
Running Time: 109 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: English
    see additional details...

Synopsis
British helmer Stephen Poliakoff, the man responsible for 2003's acclaimed The Lost Prince (about a young British monarch whom the regents locked away to hide his epileptic fits), returns with the feature Friends and Crocodiles, starring Damian Lewis (An Unfinished Life), Jodhi May (The House of Mirth), and Robert Lindsay (Bert Rigby, You're a Fool). The film opens in the early '80s, with Lewis as Paul Reynolds, a slightly indulgent succès d'estime in the business world who presides over a mansion full of hyper-eccentric artistes. Reynolds hires a secretary, Lizzie (May), to manage his affairs and keep his houseguests in reasonable order. The drama then traces the emotional landscape of Paul and Lizzie's employer/employee relationship (their ups and downs) over the following two decades, which myopically reflect the changes in the larger British corporate landscape. ~ Nathan Southern, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Cinderella Tale Turned Upside Down by talltale November 1, 2007 - 1:23 PM PDT
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1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
Stephen Poliakoff is increasingly becoming my favorite screenwriter because I can always count on him to provide fascinating mixtures of politics, economics, sociology, psychology and humanity--while creating some knockout roles for actors. Best of all, he manages to incorporate all his ideas and themes so seamlessly--and with a view toward both their good points and bad--that he never comes close to anything simple-minded. FRIENDS AND CROCODILES is no exception and in fact may be among his very best work.

From "Caught on a Train" through "Century," "Shooting the Past" and "Perfect Strangers" (called "Almost Strangers" here in the U.S.), this fellow hits the bull's eye again and again. Though the generously and duly maligned Maggie Thatcher is never mention by name, her spirit encompasses much of what we see and hear in this surprising movie--pumping many of the characters up and along their silly or nefarious routes. At first, the story looks to be an enchanting Cinderella tale of a lowly secretary and her handsome, rich prince. Ah, but wait.

So much goes on, as these characters grow and change that by film's end, you will feel you've lived through something (the mark of all good fiction) and may have had your own ideas and expectations knocked about a bit (another mark of an inclusive, adult narrative). More Poliakoff, please. Boy--do we need him now.




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