Monday, June 04, 2007

 

New BBC Screenplay puts spotlight on Paul Andrew Williams, but will U.S. Audiences ever catch ‘London to Brighton’?


One talent who benefits from the recently announced joint productions between BBC Films and Pathe is up-and-coming British filmmaker Paul Andrew Williams. Hired to write “The Choir,” an original script about a widowed old man whose life changes upon joining a strange choir, Williams will be working for producer Ken Marshall, who produced his fantastic debut feature “London To Brighton.”
No director has been announced for “The Choir.” Perhaps, Williams may get the nod. “London To Brighton,” one of my favorite films from last year’s Toronto Film Festival, shows Williams to be a talent worth celebrating.
A woman’s tale about a middle-aged prostitute, Kelly (Lorraine Stanley in a standout performance), who befriends and protects an eleven-year-old runaway, Joanne (Georgia Groome, pictured left), “London To Brighton” has the energy and visual spark of the best British gangster films. What separates Williams’ debut feature from the crime genre pile is its substantial storytelling, believable grit, fully drawn characters and humanistic heft. “London To Brighton” has earned Williams comparisons to Mike Leigh, which after watching the film, is a celebratory but fair review.
Currently, as far as U.S. audiences are concerned, “London To Brighton” has yet to break out of the film festival bubble and enjoy a full, theatrical release. Perhaps Williams’ BBC Films deal will help get “London To Brighton” into stateside theaters. It deserves to be seen.

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