Ethel and Ernest continues its cinema run next week. Check out local listings or visit the Ethel and Ernest website’s Where To Watch section.

posters-outside-picturehouse

Posters for Doctor Strange and Ethel and Ernest outside a Picturehouse cinema

“Doctor Strange may be this week’s flashiest comics adaptation but there is another, more modest, one which is just as worthy of attention.

ETHEL AND ERNEST (PG, 94 mins)

Director: Roger Mainwood

Stars: Brenda Blethyn, Jim Broadbent

Based on a 1999 bestseller by Raymond Briggs, the creator of The Snowman, Ethel And Ernest charts his parents’ marriage from the 1920s to the 1970s. As Briggs himself says in the cartoon’s live-action introduction, “There was nothing extraordinary about my mum and dad, nothing dramatic or anything.” And yet Ethel And Ernest is irresistible.

With lovely animation that recreates Briggs’s own subtle shading and detailed draftsmanship, the film is a humane and funny portrait of the naive Ethel (voiced by Brenda Blethyn) and her husband Ernest (voiced by Jim Broadbent), a politically savvy milkman.

Although a long central section recounts the horrors of the Blitz, most of the cartoon is an affectionate chronicle of simple lives in a simpler time.”

VERDICT: 4/5

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