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Review byMatthew Turner17/09/2008

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 100 mins

Well acted, superbly written drama with a strong central performance by Kathryn Worth and impressive direction by Joanna Hogg.

What's it all about?
Written and directed by Joanna Hogg, Unrelated stars Kathryn Worth as Anna, a childless woman in her mid-forties who accepts the invitation of her old school friend Verena (Mary Roscoe) and joins her family on their summer holiday in a villa in Tuscany. It quickly becomes clear that Anna is fleeing a relationship crisis back home, but she's soon distracted by the unexpected chemistry she has with cocky twenty-something Oakley (Tom Hiddleston), another friend of Verena's family.

As the sexual tension builds, Anna opens up to Oakley and begins to think that he might actually be attracted to her. However, a minor car accident exacerbates tensions within the group, leaving Anna out in the cold and precipitating a full-blown mid-life crisis.

The Good
It's always the way – you wait ages for a decent film about a female mid-life crisis and then two come along at once, what with this and Then She Found Me both being released in the same week. Kathryn Worth is perfect as Anna, giving an entirely believable portrait of a repressed middle-class woman who's suddenly confronted with the reality of a life she has not lived.

Joanna Hogg's script and direction are extremely impressive and the film often feels like an intimate, fly-on-the-wall documentary, thanks to the combination of fantastic camerawork, natural dialogue and strong performances. A sustained argument scene in particular (with two characters shouting at each other indoors while the camera stays outside with the embarrassed listeners) is brilliantly directed and really sticks with you.

The Great
The film is often difficult to watch, with some of the scenes generating extraordinary emotional tension – the would-be seduction scene, for example, is beautifully played, as is Anna's sense of exclusion towards the end of the film.

Worth seeing?
In short, Unrelated is an emotionally engaging and terrifically acted British drama that is well worth seeking out. Highly recommended.

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Content updated: 17/06/2019 03:38

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