Many years earlier Jonathan a. Fischer (Sebastian Koch) wrote a best selling novel and with the money he and his wife Joa (Julia Ormond) brought a seaside hotel. Now many years later the magic is gone; Jonathan is struggling to recapture what he had as a writer whilst Joa resents him as she gave up her acting career to run the hotel and raise their children, Posy (Katie Overd) and Beth (Felicity Jones) who has to listen to them rowing all the time. In walks the carefree Emilia (Jessica Brown Findlay) who comes to work at the hotel as a cleaner but ends up being mentored by Jonathan when she mentions she wants to write a book as she is a distant relative of Conan Doyle. Except whilst Emilia and Beth become friends her relationship with Jonathan over steps the teacher pupil boundaries which changes everything.
"Albatross" is one of those movies which grab people's attention because they are confronted by a character who is different to others around them and because of the actress playing them. So here we have Jessica Brown Findlay grabbing people's attention with her portrayal of the carefree Emilia, it is a combination which made me think back to when Emily Lloyd grabbed people's attention in "Wish You Were Here". In fact there are other things in "Albatross" which remind me of "Wish You Were Here".
But whilst Findlay is the first thing which grabs you about "Albatross" the next is the very British split tone as here is one of those movies which manages to mix drama with comedy in such a knock about way you are never sure what tone a scene will be. Without going in to detail you can go from a scene where Emilia is being sarcastic and flirtatious to one of quite poignancy which grabs you because of the almost randomness of it. It isn't just the flick flacking of tone as it works because of other things from camera work which captures the moment to the use of a catchy soundtrack. Let's put it this way here is a story of a married father falling for someone the age of his daughter, but due to the tone you never feel like he is a dirty old man.
The one issue I have with "Albatross" is a personal thing because in a strange way the performances in this are so enjoyable that I don't want to end up wondering where it is going I just want to enjoy the comedy of the characters and the consequences of their actions. The smile on Jonathan's face at dinner having just had his wicked way with Emilia upstairs whilst his daughter unaware wants to invite her to her little sister's party. It is hard to put in to words what I am on about but I will mention that Emilia shows up at the party dressed as Princess Leia in that bikini.
What this all boils down to is that "Albatross" is certainly entertaining and not the sort of movie you will forget in a hurry. In fact the writing of the characters and the humour especially when it comes to Jessica Brown Findlay as Emilia is what makes the movie rather than where the story goes.
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