Out 19 NOVEMBER / Cert PG / 89 Mins
“Do you just do your writing now or are you still working?” a well-meaning fellow asks Famous Northern Novelist Charlie (Albert Finney) when he leaves his luxurius London bubble (ha!) to visit his gritty, grey home town. Finney’s wince at that remark is perfectly judged underacting. Scripted by Shelagh Delaney and directed (his only cinema credit) by Finney, this is an essential film within the 1960s movement to tell British stories. A few years on from the intellectuals-led scene dubbed Angry Young Men, this working-class hero is rich and tired, playing with the toys (tv in every room) he’s bought, still clowning with his mate (Colin Blakeley) when drunk but ruining the evening in a higher class of restaurant, separated from a practical wife (Billie Whitelaw) and hooked up with an exhausting groupie (Liza Minnelli). Sharp, funny, wistful and honest, with a dreamlike ending.