Summer In February (2013) **

June 12th, 2013
Author: Meredith Taylor

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Director: Christopher Menaul

Cast: Dominic Cooper, Dan Stevens, Emily Browning,

100min       UK     Drama

From the man who brought us Prime Suspect comes Summer In February, a light conconction that tries hard but fails to generate real warmth: much like any typical British Summer.  Supported by the best of young British acting talent it has Dominic Cooper, Dan Stevens and Emily Browning looking winsome in fishermen’s jumpers and cavorting in a Cornish artists’ colony in the run up to the First World War.  Dominic Cooper is good at being arrogant and boorish as we’ve all seen in The Devil’s Double and Mama Mia! but here he lacks the vital ingredient of charisma much needed to make his character irresistible and plausible in the role of artist Alfred Munnings who falls for Emily Browning’s fledging dauber Florence Carter-Wood. Together with local land agent Gilbert Evans (Stevens) they form a ménage à trois that gets about as risqué as clotted cream and is as dull as the Cornish skies.  Ultimately Summer in February is a pleasant art house drama that subverts its dramatic pretensions due to uneven pacing and Jonathan Smith’s pedestrian script leaving it feeling very much like Sunday night TV fare after a wet weekend in June. MT

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