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A Postcard of Greece
on August 17, 2005
This film is a funny and wonderful look at life, tourism and love. Seaside Greece is photographed in all its splendor and no doubt will have you looking at travel brochures the day after watching this delightful film. A fine cast works magic as they interact in a place where inhibitions fall away like water over a cliff.
Jacqueline Bisset is terrific as the photographer of the coffee table book, "The Light of Greece," which isn't selling well enough to keep she and her daughter Chloe (Ruby Baker) afloat. A pot she was given as a gift by long time friend Patrick (James Fox) may help cure all her financial troubles, but then again, it may not. The affable Patrick has some secrets that are only revealed when Rick (a young Kenneth Branagh) and his sweet and long-suffering wife Carol (Lesley Manville) come to this little Greek tourist spot.
This film is filled with humor and joy and has a really special mood of Greek music and sensual beauty. Irene Papas gives a very funny performance as Penelope. She talks of her dead husband as though he were a hero during the war but he actually fell off a cliff while dancing! Penelope hates tourists and steals nail polish from all the women who come there. Her hilarious hatred of the tourists brings her into conflict with her son Yani (Paris Tselios), who not only wants to make a buck off them, but wants to put up a statue called "The Unknown Tourist!"
The statue is sculpted by Katherine's estranged husband who she amiably argues with throughout the film. There are some very funny moments in this film, including a scene when Yani's mother, Penelope, dressed like Pancho Villa, "raids" the unveiling of the statue. Even the serious moments about spies are handled with warmth and humor in this very unique film.
This film is easy to watch and makes you want to live life to the fullest. Some of the scenery will take your breath away and Bisset is marvelous as is everyone else. Director Clare Peploe has crafted something to be proud of here. This is a little known film I ran across by accident a few years ago, and what a happy accident it was. The shots of Bisset and Branagh on a beautiful midnight swim are gorgeous, as is Bisset. The perfect film for a weekend when you are wishing you could just get away from it all.