The story of a married silkworm merchant-turned-smuggler in 19th century France traveling to Japan for his town's supply of silkworms after a disease wipes out their African supply. During his stay in Japan, he becomes obsessed with the concubine of a local baron.
The story follows a married couple, apart for a night while the husband takes a business trip with a colleague to whom he's attracted. While he's resisting temptation, his wife encounters her past love.
Two feisty, free-spirited women are connected by the brilliant, charismatic poet who loves them both. The passion and pathos of legendary poet Dylan Thomas is told through the lives of two extraordinary women. Vera Phillips and Dylan were teenage loves; fast forward ten years and the two reconnect in London. She's working as a singer whilst he's churning out scripts for government propaganda films and living off the last in a long line of infatuated women. The two former lovers feel the thunderbolt once more, but Thomas is now married to the adventurous Caitlin. Despite their love-rival status, the women form a surprising friendship. Caitlin indulges in her own infidelities, and recognises a similar adventurous spirit in her husband. But she knows his connection with Vera is something different, not to mention dangerous. Romantic turmoil continues in Vera's life. She marries her devoted admirer William Killick, but she can't deny the chemistry between herself and Dylan, nor does she ... Written by
The film's title is subtly shown, in part, throughout the film in various places. Most noticeably after we see Caitlin's affair it appears as a silhouette on the curtain. See more »
When William Killick boards his transportation plane to Greece the C-47 Dakota shows (incorrectly) black and white "D-Day stripes" on fuselage and left wing. In the stock footage (probably ex-RCAF ZA947 operated by the "Battle of Britain Memorial Flight") used for the subsequent takeoff shot the C-47 has no markings at all neither on wings nor the fuselage's underbelly. See more »
Not for the proud man apart from the raging moon I write on the spendthrift pages, nor for the towering dead with their nightingales and psalms, but for the lovers, their arms round the griefs of the ages.
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Despite the title and unlike some other stories about love and war, this film isn't too sticky and pink, because love is as a rose: With thorns, that is. The four leading actors set their characters realistic and with a good sense and balance between the tragic and the down-to-earth.
The music and lyrics of the cabaret/chanson-esquire songs (sung b Keira Knightley herself) drag the viewer deeper and deeper in the film, from one place to another, between the brutal war and amongst the peaceful love. Some people may find it too much a biopic, but it ís mostly a romantic story, even though it consequently follows the life of Dylan Thomas and the triangular relationship which is steeped by joy and jealousy.
London gets visualized from another angle for once, the bohemian life of Dylan during the bombings of the Germans is set in a floating atmosphere of small bedrooms, pubs and bars. The independent women, the soldier and the charismatic poet are constantly swept in both feelings of love and anger.
Maybe the end is too twisted and hangs somewhat loosely to the rest of the film, but all in all this is a great romantic story.
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