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Dreaming of Joseph Lees [VHS]

4.3 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Drama

Product Details

  • Actors: Rupert Graves, Samantha Morton, Nicholas Woodeson, Lee Ross, Felix Billson
  • Directors: Eric Styles
  • Writers: Catherine Linstrum
  • Producers: Chris Harris, Christopher Milburn, Mark Thomas, Matthew Kuipers
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
  • DVD Release Date: May 16, 2000
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305824584
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #244,726 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Dreaming of Joseph Lees [VHS]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on November 27, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Dreaming of Joseph Lees is the quintessential little movie, British style. It is a beautifully photographed movie played by a cast of genuine actors you probably never heard of. The setting is rural England (actually photographed on the Isle of Man) in the late 1950's. It is a love story with a classic triangle. There is not a wasted scene, not a wasted moment.
Eva is a young woman who dreams romantically of an older second cousin, Joepth Lees, she remembers from when she was a girl. Joseph is a geologist who works in Italy where he lost a leg in a quarry accident. Eva thinks about him a lot, has heard about him from time to time but has not seen him in many years. In the meantime, she has come of age, has finished school and works in a lumber mill while also caring for her elderly father and younger sister. One of the local boys who works at the mill and tends his farm, Harry, is interested in Eva and lets her know repeatedly in a rather crude way. Eventually, seeing no other hope for male companionship, she moves in with Harry. Guess who shows up at that point? The remainder of the movie is Eva's emotional see-saw as she tries to decide between Joseph and Harry. There are hints (some metaphoric, some unexpected, some both) as to outcome along the way. She finally chooses, and the movie ends as it must. Although some things about the movie do not quite ring true (they could not, at least, have happened in rural America during the same time period), it is a good period piece. Someone suggested it is not a subtle movie but neither the sex nor the violence, both are present, are played strongly. By American standards the movie is subtle. Nothing is blown up in a ball of fire. Most of the blood is just from a nosebleed. There are no gimmicks.
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Format: VHS Tape
The story is old, and has been told before, but this time is told in a beautiful and refreshing way. Eva (played beautifully by Samantha Morton) is a young woman torn between the distant cousin she has loved since childhood, Joseph Lees (a wonderfully romantic performance by Rupert Graves), and the affection and responsibility she feels for Harry, who has wooed her for years with a love bordering on obsession.
When she finally chooses to follow her heart with Joseph, Harry's obsession turns self-destructive and emotionally twisted, thus bringing out the responsibility Eva feels for him. The film grows slightly dark at this point, but never loses sight of the romantic side - the light at the end of the tunnel.
The cinematography is wonderful and strikingly real, and the actors are all at their best - particularly Lee Ross, who as Harry carries off the vulnerability, obsession, and slight madness with astonishing skill. But by far the most interesting part of the movie is the end, which leaves the viewer to make up their own mind as to how the story ends.
This film grabs you from the very beginning and never lets you go.
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By A Customer on February 5, 2002
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
This movie is great. At some point in a relationship everyone has to make the decision - do I love this person? This film explores that question in depth. If you have ever truly loved someone and yet the relationship was impossible - this is a movie for you. This is a dramatic movie with real characters that make the movie seem very real.
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By A Customer on June 13, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Every so often I like to rummage through the minor titles with and see if I can find a sleeper with a no star cast. `Dreaming of Joseph Lees' was a pleasant find. It is a coming of age romance/drama about a young woman in rural 1950's England and her two loves. Though the story has a few flaws, it is done with great sensitivity and it will tug at your heart strings.
Eva (Samantha Morton) works in a sawmill and is being pursued relentlessly by Harry, a love sick puppy, whose aggressive bravado belies a deep rooted insecurity. Eva carries a smoldering ember for her distant and much older cousin Joseph (Rupert Graves) whom she hasn't seen since she was a child. Joseph went off to Italy to become a geologist and lost a leg in an explosion at the site. Harry persists in his wooing of Eva and eventually, she succumbs to his charms. After they move in together, Eva sees Joseph at a family wedding and the ember rekindles to a full blown bonfire. Joseph returns her affections and Harry becomes Eva's dilemma. As Harry realizes he's lost her, he has an emotional breakdown and Eva's guilt brings her back to him. But Joseph won't give up and he implores her to leave Harry and come with him to Italy. So Eva has a decision to make, love or duty.
The film has a lot going for it. Samantha Morton was wonderful as the emerging Eva. She played the part with the tentativeness and tittering of a young girl, but the sensitivity and tenderness of a young woman. Eric Styles, in his first feature did a nice job with the photography, making it very soft and romantic throughout. The love scenes were very well done, more loving than sexual. Everything was done very tastefully. There was no violence, nudity or profanity. The props and costumes were true to the period.
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Format: VHS Tape
Eva's love for her second cousin Joseph Lees, resides deep within her. Her psyche reverts to daydreams of his uncertain present life in all her quiet moments. Meanwhile, Eva is enticed by her own unmistakable desire for a persistant young man named Harry. Eva makes hasty decisions and allows herself to begin a relationship with Harry. She settles for an imperfect attachment, and then when circumstances reacquaint her with the object of her dreams, she's forced to not only see her choice is not at all simple, but also to realize why her too hurried and mistaken decision to move in with Harry was unwise. Samantha Morten embodies Eva perfecly. Her mental grappling with facing the error of her choices is shown in her raw anguish. She is the spirit of heartwrenching desperation, then later uncertain conviction. I have yet to watch this film and not feel deep pain as Eva struggles to gain composure, when realizing she's just said goodbye to her dreams and must face her reality. It's a beautiful story that tells what a danger naivete' can be. Somehow it even encompasses those moments when happiness is destroyed just by opening the wrong door. I personally applaud Samantha Morten, she's a tremendous actress.
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