Love Sarah (2020) *** Live release

July 6th, 2020
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir.: Eliza Schroeder; Writer: Jake Bringer| Cast: Celia Imre, Rupert Penry-Jones, Shelley Conn, Shannon Tarbet, Grace Calder, Bill Paterson; UK 2020, 97min.

This contemporary fairy-tale about love, loss and redemption is the syrupy concoction of debut filmmakers Eliza Schroeder and Jake Brunger. Set in trendy Notting Hill and bathed in a perpetual pastel aesthetic, Love Sarah creates an illusory world brimming with an indomitable feel-good factor.

It sees three generations of women brought together by their own differing conflicts following the death of talented patissier Sarah Curachi, tragically killed in a cycling accident on the eve of opening her first solo bakery in Notting Hill. Determined to keep her mother’s dream alive, teenage daughter Clarissa, an aspiring dancer, enlists the help of her mother’s best friend Isabella (Conn) and her slightly dotty grandmother Mimi (Imrie).

The unique selling point of the bakery is its international fare, inspired by the multicultural inhabitants of  this popular part of town that rose to fame thanks to Roger Michell’s 1999 classic of the same name. The bakery metaphor is a clever one, after all, everyone needs comfort food in these testing times. But there are just too many phoenixes rising out of the ashes of loss and guilt to make the story totally convincing. And Reid’s glossy images underline this tendency to create an urban idyl after the trauma has died down. Performances are solid across the board, each character has something to contribute – but the overall message is too trite. Fairy tales often have a sting in the tail, not to mention predatory wolves. AS

SCREENING LIVE from 10 JULY 2020. 



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