The Edge of Love

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The Edge of Love
Edge of love.jpg
Directed by John Maybury
Written by Sharman Macdonald
Starring Keira Knightley
Sienna Miller
Cillian Murphy
Matthew Rhys
Music by Angelo Badalamenti
Cinematography Jonathan Freeman
Edited by Emma E. Hickox
Release date
  • 18 June 2008 (2008-06-18) (Edinburgh Film Festival)
  • 20 June 2008 (2008-06-20) (United Kingdom)
Running time
110 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

The Edge of Love is a 2008 drama by John Maybury starring Keira Knightley, Sienna Miller, Cillian Murphy and Matthew Rhys. The script is by Sharman Macdonald, Knightley's mother.[1] Originally titled The Best Time of Our Lives, the fictional story concerns the famous Welsh poet Dylan Thomas (played by Rhys), his wife Caitlin Macnamara (played by Miller) and their married friends, the Killicks (played by Knightley and Murphy). The film was selected at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Plot[edit]

The story is loosely based on real events and real people, drawing on Rebekah Gilbertson's idea and David N. Thomas' book Dylan Thomas: A Farm, Two Mansions and a Bungalow.[2]

During the London blitz of World War II, nightclub singer Vera Phillips (Keira Knightley) runs into her first love, the charismatic Welsh poet Dylan Thomas (Matthew Rhys). Their feelings for each other are rekindled, despite the fact that Dylan is now married and has a child with the spirited Caitlin Macnamara (Sienna Miller); in spite of their initial rivalry, the two women become best friends and, drinking heavily in wartime London, the three get along well.

At this time, William Killick (Cillian Murphy), a British Army officer pursues Vera. Both Vera and Caitlin are intrigued by his steadfast, gallant personality, despite its contrasts with Vera's rebelliousness. William notices Vera's closeness with Dylan, but doesn't appear concerned by it; he and Vera even lend the struggling poet some of their savings. William and Vera fall in love and marry, but soon afterwards William is called up to join the fight against the German invasion of Greece.

Shortly after William's departure, Vera discovers that she is pregnant, she is upset that motherhood will take away her independence, but cannot bring herself to abort William's child. Vera later gives birth to a son, and she and the Thomases move to the Welsh seashore to raise their children in two small neighboring cottages, where Vera and Caitlin's friendship grows ever stronger. One day, however, Dylan draws Vera into having an affair. Dylan and Caitlin's marriage has long been distorted by their multiple infidelities, but Dylan - recalling a sexual encounter he and Vera had when she was 15 years old - believes she is his soulmate.

William (now a Captain), scarred by the horrors of the war, eventually returns home where Vera notices his emotional distance and instability; in his disquiet, William comes to suspect his wife's infidelity and confronts her about it. Vera confesses the truth to both William and Caitlin, who is furious with Vera. One evening, while severely drunk and angry with Dylan's friends and their ignorant remarks on the war, William wanders out and fires multiple shots into the Thomases' house, he does not hit anyone and Vera manages to talk him down. The next morning, William seems to return to his former self. However, he is soon arrested and taken to trial.

During the trial, Dylan testifies against William and exaggerates the facts, stating that William was sober and that William intended to kill him, his wife, and his child, the jury finds William innocent of intent to murder, and he returns home. He accepts his new role as a father, and he and Vera forgive each other, eventually rekindling their relationship. Soon afterwards, the Thomases move out of their cottage, during their farewell, Vera restores her friendship with Caitlin, but never speaks with Dylan again, unable to forgive him for testifying against her husband.

Cast[edit]

Keira Knightley Vera Phillips
Sienna Miller Caitlin Macnamara
Cillian Murphy William Killick
Matthew Rhys Dylan Thomas
Lisa Stansfield Ruth Williams
Graham McPherson Al Bowlly
Camilla Rutherford Nicolette
Alastair Mackenzie Anthony Devas
Richard Dillane Lt Col David Talbot Rice
Huw Ceredig John Patrick
Simon Armstrong Wilfred Hosgood
Rachel Essex Mel
Nick Stringer PC Williams
Anthony O'Donnell Jack Lloyd
Rachel Bell Midwife
Anne Lambton Anita Shenkin
Karl Johnson Dai Fred
Richard Clifford Alistair Graham
Bethany Towell Rowatt 1 month
Acacia Pattinson Biggs

Source: The Edge of Love[citation needed]

Distribution[edit]

The film made its world premiere opening at the Edinburgh Film Festival on 18 June 2008, it was released in London and Dublin two days later, with a Welsh premiere taking place in Swansea (the birthplace of Dylan Thomas) on the same night, attended by Matthew Rhys. A national release followed in the UK and Ireland on 27 June 2008.[citation needed] An exhibition of costumes, scripts and props from the film was on display at the Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea until September 2008. The Edge of Love has earned $3,238,922 in gross revenue since its June 2008 release.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that the film received a 34% "rotten" rating, based on 53 reviews by critics.[4] The Hollywood Reporter critic Ray Bennett commented that The Edge of Love is a "wonderfully atmospheric tale of love and war" and stated about Knightley and Miller that; "the film belongs to the women, with Knightley going from strength to strength (and showing she can sing!) and Miller again proving that she has everything it takes to be a major movie star."[5]

As of 25 August 2008, the movie review aggregator, Metacritic, awarded the film a score of 39 denoting "generally unfavorable reviews";[6] in Variety, Leslie Felperin commented: "While the period drama has several redeeming features, tonally it's all over the map, veering between artsy stylization and hum-drum, sometimes almost twee melodrama."[7]

Mark Kermode described the film as "inert" and said that the script was "flawed but not without some form of admirable merit".[8] The Independent felt that "Maybury's stylisation makes the film more interesting than it would have been if directed by your average British journeyman, but it finally adds up to earnest heritage romance."[9]

Sienna Miller received a nomination as Best Supporting Actress at the 2008 British Independent Film Awards.[citation needed]

Soundtrack[edit]

The Edge of Love (Music from the Motion Picture)
Soundtrack album by Angelo Badalamenti
Released 24 June 2008
Genre Soundtrack
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[10]
Discogs 5 / 5

The Edge of Love soundtrack by Angelo Badalamenti includes performances by singers Keira Knightley, Siouxsie Sioux, Suggs, Patrick Wolf, and Beth Rowley. Siouxsie performs the second version of "Careless Love", while Patrick Wolf performs "Careless Talk".

The composer performed the soundtrack live with Siouxsie and Beth Rowley in Ghent, at the World Soundtrack Awards, in October 2008.[citation needed]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Lovers Lie Abed"
  2. "Overture/Blue Tahitian Moon"
  3. "Underground Shelter"
  4. "Hang Out The Stars in Indiana"
  5. "After The Bombing/Hang Out The Stars in Indiana"
  6. "A Stranger Has Come"
  7. "Fire to the Stars"
  8. "Careless Talk"
  9. "Careless Love"
  10. "Love Me"
  11. "Careless Talk"
  12. "Drifting And Dreaming"
  13. "Home Movies"
  14. "Under Fire"
  15. "Maybe It's Because I Love You Too Much"
  16. "Vera Begs Dylan"
  17. "Vera's Theme"
  18. "Holding Rowatt"
  19. "Careless Love"
  20. "Caitlin's Theme"

References[edit]

  1. ^ McCartney, Jenny (19 June 2008). "Film reviews: The Edge of Love and Adulthood". The Telegraph. Retrieved 5 October 2017. 
  2. ^ Dargis, Manohla (19 March 2009). "Matthew Rhys, Keira Knightley and Sienna Miller as Dylan Thomas's Circle". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 October 2017. 
  3. ^ "The Edge of Love (2009) - Financial Information". The Numbers. Retrieved 7 October 2017. 
  4. ^ "The Edge of Love". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 30 September 2017. 
  5. ^ Film Review: The Edge of Love Hollywood Reporter, 17 June 2008[dead link]
  6. ^ "The Edge of Love". Metacritic. Retrieved 30 September 2017. 
  7. ^ Felperin, Leslie (18 June 2008). "The Edge of Love". Variety. Retrieved 30 September 2017. 
  8. ^ "Mark Kermode reviews The Edge of Love". YouTube. 20 June 2008. Retrieved 30 September 2017. 
  9. ^ Romney, Jonatahn (22 June 2008). "The Edge of Love (15)". The Independent. Retrieved 30 September 2017. 
  10. ^ Jurek, Thom (16 June 2008). "The Edge of Love (Music from the Motion Picture) – Angelo Badalamenti : Songs, Reviews". AllMusic. Retrieved 27 June 2012. 

External links[edit]