- Angie Errigo
- 23 September 2019
Veteran script supervisor Martha Pinson makes her directorial debut with an endearing drama
Tesla (Sebastian Street), a disabled war veteran haunted by the past, and Sky (Stuart Brennan), a charming but secretive trust fund ne'er-do-well who parties each day as if it's his last, strike up a friendship in a hip London bar, the odd-couple buddies impacting each other's lives in unexpected ways.
Images from this little winner have been somewhat misleading, representing it as a war film (it starts in Afghanistan and returns fleetingly in flashbacks to soldier Tesla's traumatising experience). But it is really a rather endearing light romantic drama in which love, hope and dogged persistence – as well as some frankly unlikely but fortuitous turns – pave the way to happily-ever-afters.
Written by Street and Brennan as a vehicle for themselves, the screenplay is neat, tidy and engaging, with two attractive love stories – Tesla's with aspiring restaurateur Katie (Stephanie Leonidas), Sky's with struggling artist Lee-Anne (Sophie Kennedy Clark) – supporting roles and fun cameos for welcome faces (James Cosmo, Stephen Fry, Joss Stone, and Paul Kaye as the Gordon Ramsay-esque chef who makes trainee Tesla's life in the kitchen hell), dramatic obstacles to romance and ambitions, a life-threatening crisis and a cute dog (a King Charles Spaniel called Monty).
This marks the feature directorial debut of New Yorker Martha Pinson after 40 years in theatre and film, accounting for the participation of no less than Martin Scorsese as an executive producer, since Pinson was his script supervisor on numerous projects, including The Departed. She has a good eye, with locations around the Shard Quarter, London Bridge, Shad Thames and Battersea byways looking more polished and romantic than one expects in such a modestly-budgeted British effort. It has taken four years for the film to find a UK release, presumably because its writers-stars are not high-profile enough but, as self-started projects go, Street and Brennan can be pleased with theirs, the finished film as much a tribute to optimism and perseverance as the plot.
General release from Fri 27 Sep.