An extraordinary debut for director Julia Taylor-Stanley, These Foolish Things is a beautifully shot film conjuring a sense of old London, rich textiles, and lavender soap. I really loved the atmosphere of this film, but since it’s not the only wonderful element of These Foolish Things, I shall recount the synopsis to hopefully tantalise you into watching it.
Young Diana Shaw (Zoe Tapper) is trying to make it as a theatre actress in the shadows of her famous, now dying mother. Moving from the country to London’s West End, Diana quickly finds friendship with the worldly Robin (David Leon), and similarly unemployed scriptwriter. Diana is a modest and courteous young lady, therefore it was only time before she fell for chivalrous Theatre Director Christopher (Andrew Lincoln). Love is undoubtedly one of the main themes in the film. Although it was not one of those deeply profound love stories, I was still affected and saddened by the love triangle where one character always misses out (except if it’s a ménage-a-trios arrangement à la Gloomy Sunday). The ending scene was as equally heartbreaking as it was heart-warming, and I could hear the older audience sigh with a sense of nostalgia as the film closed.
I was so thrilled that the wonderful diva Anjelica Houston played a somewhat significant part of the film, as well as screen legend Lauren Bacall. Both women had a presence that permeated the silver screen, which balance out the young, somewhat inexperienced leads.
Penthouse cinema is one of my favourite cinemas in Wellington. From the lush wallpaper to immaculate bathrooms, the whole atmosphere got me in a pleasant mood to watch the feature film. I always feel slightly out of place when I visit Penthouse as it really is quite a posh place, full of mature (read: 60s+) folks who have money to burn. Anyway, my insecurities aside, These Foolish Things has the same of feel as the recent Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont and Mrs. Henderson Presents. So if you are into a touch of charming English humour and a taste for an age long passed, then you will surely delight in the gem that is These Foolish Things.
DIRECTED BY JULIA TAYLOR-STANLEY