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Tamara Drewe

You can’t enjoy the countryside without getting a little dirty. 

Year: 2010 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Stephen Frears 
Starring: Gemma Arterton, Roger Allam, Luke Evans, Dominic Cooper  
An image from Tamara Drewe

Sex, a rock star and an unnervingly skinny woman in denim hot pants are not things that are typically associated with the English countryside, but they are all found in the hometown of Tamara Drewe (Arterton). Returning from her life as a journalist in London to sell her family home, she is no longer the bespectacled, plain girl with a dodgy nose that everyone remembers but a stunning young woman, and she knows it.

Based on the weekly comic strip by Posy Simmons, Tamara Drewe is a telling yet entertaining depiction of the quiet countryside life and how far it differs from our initial preconceptions. From the serial novelist and adulterer, Nicholas Hardiment (Allam) to the gorgeous and frequently topless Andy Cobb (Evans), there isn’t anyone without their own agenda in this unassuming village. This, of course, is what makes Tamara Drewe so entertaining. Few of the characters are likeable and yet, somehow, you grow to love all of them.

The constant comedic value, however, comes from the two teenage schoolgirls who are stalking Tamara’s rock star boyfriend (Cooper), to the point that they eventually break into her house and attempt to sabotage their relationship. Eventually, they end up driving the plot and propelling it to its unexpected conclusion in a way that will take the audience completely by surprise.

Frears (The Queen, Dirty Pretty Things) does an excellent job of depicting the darker side of rural society whilst keeping the audience in fits of laughter. Whilst the film did not receive the same amount of publicity as other films that came out in the same year, Tamara Drewe is well worth the watch if you enjoy drama and chaos. You’ll never look at the English countryside in the same way again.

Sophie Carroll

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Screenings of this film:

2010/2011 Spring Term (35mm)