Scrolling through Twitter, I noticed the Good Doctor (Mr Mark Kermode) had given a 5 star review to a film called Lynn + Lucy. I’d never heard of it before, but knowing what the flappy handed critic is like after years of listening to his charming tones on the radio (well, podcast) he doesn’t hand out those ratings lightly: so I was immediately intrigued. I’m very glad I paid attention to that tweet.
Available to watch on the BFI Player (you can get a free trial through Amazon Prime), Lynn + Lucy is the debut feature film of Fyzal Boulifa following on from helming several well-respected shorts. The movie’s set in your typical working class estate, with the local pub being the nearby attraction of choice. Behind the typical aesthetics is a friendship between two school pals – Lynn and Lucy – as they both navigate work, life and parenthood: with the former’s viewpoint being the one we see the film through.
I think it’d have been easy to have played slapstick stereotypes with the idea of stay-at-home mums, but this is anything but; Boulifa’s story feels authentic without taking many liberties – other than a ditzy hairdresser – and Roxanne Scrimshaw’s performance as Lynn is sublime. As you’d expect, the friendship hits a major speed bump that is both cruel and shocking and one that slowly broke my soul into tiny pieces. Yet, I’m glad it did: a fabulous film that is caringly shot and beautifully performed, as it delves into the realms of a living nightmare (get those tissues ready… ), every moment is carved out not necessarily through words, but through Scrimshaw’s face – the ultimate strength of the movie.
Another unexpected lockdown-ish movie that deserves more attention. Go check it out on the BFI Player.