A young man's revelation of his homosexuality exposes a foundation of hidden secrets and repressed passions that threatens to destroy his family.]]>
The Lost Language of Cranes
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Top Customer Reviews
Brian Cox and Eileen Atkins, two of Britain's best character actors, are incredibly good as the parents, Owen and Rose Benjamin. Owen is an Academic, and Rose is a Book Editor. The irony of Rose being in a profession where she needs an eye for detail is not lost as it contrasts to her own life. She has somehow managed to overlook that her husband is a closeted homosexual. In their generation, if a man felt or knew he was gay, he married, procreated, and carried on with life in most cases. The Benjamin's marriage could be like most long-term marriages without passion. Rose has had her affairs, mainly for the physical love she is missing from her husband. Owen wants desperately to explore the side of his life he has been repressing, but, so far, spends a good amount of his free time roaming gay cinemas.
Adding to all of this is that their son, Phillip, a handsome book editor, very well-played by Angus MacFayden, is also gay. He is out to his friends, but not to his parents. He is madly in love with an American graphic artist, Elliott, played by Corey Parker. Phillip's belief that he has found the love of his life leads him to finally come out to his parents. But, he has no idea of the can of worms he has opened in the life and marriage of his parents. Rose would have been content to keep secrets indefinitely. However, Owen's son's admission opens the floodgates and propels Owen toward his new life.Read more ›
For those people struggling with the issues that this movie presents, it is a godsend. There is no sugar coating of the marital issues that Owen and Rose must face. Eileen Atkins is marvelous in her subtle portrayal of the suppressed rage, resentment, frustration and fear mixed with love that she feels towards Owen. Owen's dilemma is well portrayed and his breakdown and reaction to his son's coming out is perfectly on target. One wishes that the episode of the botched phone call were better filled in. In the book it represents a cry for help and an almost blind reaching out that is thwarted by the reality of indifference and mocking irony of the target of a prank. The movie glosses over and changes the situation making the impact much less.
The movie was produced for television by the BBC and WNET and the scale is right for the small screen. The only jarring and inexplicable note are the interludes of the disturbed child and the crane. This is taken directly from the book and is equally jarring in that setting. The author is making a metaphoric point but it eludes me.
That said, definitely see the movie but if you can, please read the book as well. You will find it enlightening, moving, and perhaps life-changing.
At the film's core, are three people, all of whom have been suppressing their real feelings ( their real selves) from the others for fear of change - for fear of disrupting the balance of their existence. This lack of expressing themselves in language, causes them to create their own "language of cranes".
They're terrified that the truth will rip apart the world as they know it, which it does. The viewer is left with their loose ends, wondering if honesty really was the best. Everything they feared about honesty comes to pass. The family is torn apart without a way back. The mother is left feeling like the punch line of a bad joke and the father will be left with 30 years of remorse and guilt. But they're free. They're alive and free - and they still have time to take advantage of their second chance at life.
There are no action scenes here, but this film is more suspenseful than a thriller. If you have ever kept a secret from someone you loved - beware - this film might make you feel very uncomfortable.
Bottom line: a wonderful script, excellent acting and well directed on a small budget. A must see (not just for homosexuals).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
ive bought female trouble off aazon in the past and it plays beautifully on my sony dvd plyer but im disgusted with amazon sending me an unplayable dvd of lost language of the... Read morePublished on March 30, 2013 by anthony
Even though they place has moved from NYC to London, the things that take place and pretty much the same as in the book. Read morePublished on June 19, 2012 by Garrett A. Phelps
Usually, after 10 minutes of watching most "gay-themed" films, I am up to my eyeballs in feathers and sequins and waiting for the same old story (rehashed, but the same) to start. Read morePublished on January 7, 2010 by Kenneth A. Nelson
A circa thirty year-old son's coming out has triggered family elapsing into limbo might potentially ground a TV soup multi-serial. Read morePublished on December 21, 2009 by Michael Kerjman
I enjoyed viewing this product. It portrays part of everyday life which we have to accept if there is any human dignity in us - a problem to which there is no solution except... Read morePublished on January 7, 2009 by Renato Valente
Surprise - it has nothing to do with birds!
This video explores Owen and Rose's family on three (four? Many?) levels. Read more
"The lost language of cranes" is a British TV movie based on the novel by David Leavitt. The problem when you see a movie adaptation of a book you have already read -- and loved --... Read morePublished on December 7, 2007 by Wil Cabral de Azevedo
Since I own "Lost Language of Cranes" on VHS, I am familar with the movie. The new DVD offers a few extra scenes that were not on the VHS format. Read morePublished on October 1, 2007 by Jimmy Cooper