Film Review: Days of the Bagnold Summer

SNACK at The Glasgow Film Festival 2020

Days of the Bagnold Summer

The Inbetweeners star Simon Bird makes his directorial debut with this witty and moving drama, which explores the complex bond between a mother and her son. Bookish divorcee Sue Bagnold (Monica Dolan) lives with her moody 15-year-old thrash metal-loving son Daniel (Earl Cave, son of Nick Cave). When his trip to visit his dad and his new family in Florida is cancelled at the last minute, Sue and Daniel face six long weeks together. Equipped with a genuinely funny, well-observed script by Lisa Owens, the film does an excellent job of inviting us into these opposite characters’ lives and getting to what makes them tick, capturing the awkwardness that comes with that unspoken mother-son bond in these little relatable slices of everyday suburban life. The two leads are brilliantly played; Dolan once again showcasing her fantastic ability to tread the line between comedy and tragedy, while Cave somehow captures the essence of what it means to be a teenager still trying to find their place in the world without it ever feeling clichéd. Their chalk and cheese relationship is beautifully played, made to feel wholly believable by both the actors and Bird’s assured directorial hand.

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