A Change in the Weather – Film Review
Director: Jon Sanders
Writers: Anna Mottram, Jon Sanders
Stars: Meret Becker, Douglas Finch, Maxine Finch
Dan (Bob Goody) is an old and well renowned theatre director, who is developing a play largely based around his life. He is in rural France along with a group of theatre makers which includes his wife Lydia (Anna Mottram). The play features his wife at the three stages of life, as a young woman, middle aged and as an old woman played by Lydia herself. The film starts with the early stages of the production, as they use interviews with the actors in character to develop the personalities of the on stage persona. The lines between the characters and the individuals start to blur and we are left wondering what is real and what is created.
This film is from the director of ‘The Kent Trilogy’ (Back to the Garden (2014), Late September (2012) & Low Tide (2008)); writer/ director Jon Sanders. The focus of the film is on the older couple, Dan and Lydia, and the various flaws in their relationship that have developed over the years.
As this is a film about theatre, we see rehearsals of various elements of the production. There is music, songs and dance. There is also a long sequence of puppetry, as the puppet dances with the woman at all three stages of her life.
The director has gone to some lengths to make the ground treacherous for the viewer. While the synopsis above may simplify the events, there is much work in figuring out the relationships between the characters and also what is real and what is part of the theatre production. There are also various supernatural elements that remain unexplained. The naturalistic script and style of acting give it the feel of a fly on the wall documentary. It is a bit of an oddity, while enjoyable when watching, it slips past you without ever really grabbing hold.