Quiet, minimalist drama about the collapse of a three decade long marriage
Unlike teenagers, the growing numbers of older people in today’s society are woefully under-served by cinema, an omission which Jon Sanders’ ultra-low budget feature Late September attempts to redress. Sanders has directed before, with 1999’s prostitution drama Prairie Doves and 2008’s little-seen Low Tide, yet Late September offers the long, static takes and raw, improvised performances of a naïve debut feature.
The central relationship featured is between Ken (Richard Vanstone) and Gillian (Anna Mottram), whose three-decade plus marriage is at breaking point, with painful fractures put under additional pressure by the demands of a birthday party. As the guests arrive at the couple’s house in Kent, the presence of Ken’s crusty old friend Jim (Bob Goody) provides the catalyst for the collapse of their relationship.
The quiet, minimalist drama of Late September is so determinedly low-key it makes Mike Leigh look like Michael Bay, with regular shots of characters staring into space, sitting in silence or discussing matters such as whether to purchase dish-washing tablets. The attempt to capture the minutiae of everyday life is brave, but the activity Sanders actually portrays turns out to be disappointingly mundane.
Selected release from Fri 15 June.