18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
A masterpiece written by Penelope Gilliatt,
By A Customer
This review is from: Sunday Bloody Sunday [VHS] (VHS Tape)
John Schlesinger's film, from an original screenplay by Penelope Gilliatt (the brilliiant film critic for the New Yorker, novelist, short story writer, playwright, opera librettist, and profilist), is the director's finest work. (FYI: there is no comma in the title "Sunday Bloody Sunday.") Schlesinger asked Gilliatt to write the script because he thought she was the "right" writer; also, the screeenplay is also largely inspired by Gilliatt's novel "A State of Change."
The 1971 film remains today the finest work ever to deal with gay or bisexual characters. The milieu is educated and upper-crust London and Londoners, in the period after the sixties. The landmark quality of the film is that it assumes viewers are intelligent as the characters on display. There's no big deal at all made of the characters' sexual orientations -- they simply are. Gilliatt wanted to write a film about the "possibility" of people who love each other finding the courage to move on in their lives once a relationship has ended -- for whatever reason -- with compassion and charity toward each other. The film is about different kinds of breakdown in communication, about surviving on less and less, about clinging to the possibility of hope in extremity. The film ends on a positive note -- it sees courage in the everday, in moving ahead with one's life. The credit must go to Gilliatt. Schlesinger directed, but the soul of the film is Gilliatt's much-honored screenplay.