Military Wives – Film Review
Writers: Rosanne Flynn (Writer), Rachel Tunnard
Stars: Kristin Scott Thomas, Sharon Horgan, Jason Flemyng
Peter Cattaneo in 1997 directed the “Full Monty”, where redundant miners found a new role for themselves as strippers. Here his skill is to have Scott Thomas playing opposite Horgan. The worlds they represent have little in common but Horgan’s ability to make the most ordinary comment resonate with humour stands in contrast to Scott Thomas’s earnestness as she tries as a matter of duty to fit in with the expectations of the soldiers’ partners. It is a brilliant pairing and it holds the film together. But Kate has her own problems and she finds solace, when alone, in making idiotic purchases on the shopping channel. This hidden weakness brings her a great deal closer to the women she is trying uncertainly to lead.
Cattaneo knows how to pull the heartstrings and he does so here. As a film about war, it stands in stark contrast to the likes of 1917. It is all about those lives which are dominated by the war even though they are thousands of miles away from the battle. They live each day in fear that there will be a knock on their door with news from the battle; a knock which none of them wants to hear. The communal choir helps the women forget this reality.
This is a feel-good movie. It tugs at the heartstrings, but Scott Thomas and Horgan keep it from becoming too sentimental. They make a great pairing.