Queen and Country
Directed by John Boorman
An Englishman who grew up in London during World War II joins the military to fight in the Korean War.
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★★★½ review by davidehrlich on Letterboxd
A direct sequel to 1987’s Hope and Glory—and the best thing that John Boorman has made since—Queen and Country begins where that film leaves off, continuing the director’s autobiographical account of his relationship with war and the collateral effect it has on the people at its periphery.
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★★★★★ review by manousos on Letterboxd
This sequel to Hope and Glory 27 years after it was made using some of the same characters slightly grown up (Hope and Glory stops at the end of WWII and this begins in the early 50s), focusing on the young boy who was ten at the end of the first and is now 18. John Boorman does an incredible job of updating the actors including using some of the originals almost 30 years later. But most of the film takes place at the encampment and barracks where young Bill Rohan is conscripted to be trained for the Korean War. Boorman has lost none of his ease at mixing pathos, comic flourishes and compelling drama to combine into his signature charming film style. Always an excellent director of actors he makes fun of the protocols of the military in exceptionally clever ways at the same time that he shows how the homogenizing of the conscripts fosters an atmosphere of love and laughter. Of course, the young men are also trying to meet the young post war women whenever they have time off which proves to be as difficult as figuring out how to get through the labyrinthine demands of the military. But what makes the film a pure joy of an experience is the exceptional performance of Callum Turner as young Bill Rohan, whose innocence and wisdom construct the delightful centrifuge around which the film twirls and spins.
★★★★ review by Tom Prankerd on Letterboxd
A worthy follow-up to John Boorman's Hope and Glory, dealing with the director's national service. Good performances and a sharp script which covers most bases add up to a charming low-key film.
★★★½ review by teamzizzou on Letterboxd
Messy and whimsy, but this easy on the eye period piece has a heart and so easy to watch, definitely my sort of thing.
★★★½ review by Cameron M Johnson 🍤 on Letterboxd
Absolutely hilarious but also totally all-over-the-place, this is a military comedy set in World War II that's full of great performances and has lots of legitimately funny comedy in it, as well. Reminded me a bit of "Blackadder Goes Forth".
Lol @ the poster being a brother & sister pairing in the film. Though there is honestly a bit of an incestuous element there, anyway, so the post isn't TOTALLY inaccurate.
David Thewlis and Pat Shortt are the best part about the film, pretty much playing caricatures - the former a PTSD-suffering officer who is overly strict and by-the-book, and the latter the exact opposite, a complete skiver - but playing those caricatures exceptionally well and believably. Richard E. Grant, Brian F. O'Byrne, Callum Turner and Aimee-Ffion Edwards are also excellent. Caleb Landry Jones is a bit over-the-top, especially in his accent, but besides him the cast is pitch-perfect.
My main criticism of the film is that there are too many subplots, and a lot of them don't really add up to much (though pretty much everything is resolved). The whole thing about Bill (Turner)'s romance with Ophelia/Helen (Tamsin Egerton) isn't bad, but it doesn't seem to lead Bill through any sort of character development; I'm not sure what we're supposed to see change in him through their relationship. The film also feels a bit generally messy and aimless, though that might have just been a by-product of the overly-theatrical nature of the military proceedings (see: my comparison to "Blackadder"), especially since I'm pretty sure everything is resolved by the end of the film.
The whole clock subplot is golden, as well.
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