The Waiting Room
Elderly Roger (Frank Finlay) sits in a suburban London train station, forlornly waiting for his dead wife to arrive, his presence providing the catalyst for a Brief Encounter-style chance meeting between Anna (Anne-Marie Duff) and Stephen (Ralf Little). Outside the railway station, the prospective couple’s lives run on separate tracks. Anna returns to her seedy affair with selfish George (Rupert Graves), who is married to her best-friend and neighbour Jem (Zoe Telford), while Stephen goes back to caring for the infirm Helen (Phyllida Law). Anna and Stephen’s dissatisfaction with their lives suggests there could be something more to relationships than they previously imagined, but will ever they get their love on track?
Writer-director Roger Goldby made the Oscar-winning short It’s Good To Talk in 1998, but won’t be picking up many prizes with this hackneyed scenario about the importance of holding out for someone special. The Waiting Room does conjure up some oldie-pathos through Finlay and Law, but strong acting can’t meld the twee one-dimensionality of a Working Title rom-com with serious dramatic situations. The tagline, ‘An intelligent and distinctive film about love, fate, and being ready to meet the right person’ reflects a desire for significance which The Waiting Room only rarely achieves.
Selected release from Fri 20 Jun.