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With: Rupert Graves, Samantha Morton, Nicholas Woodeson, Lee Ross, Felix Billson, Lauren Richardson, Frank Finlay, Vernon Dobtchef, Miriam Margolyes, Holly Aird, Freddy Douglas
Written by: Catherine Linstrum
Directed by: Eric Styles
MPAA Rating: R for some sexuality
Running Time: 92
Date: 10/29/1999

Dreaming of Joseph Lees (1999)

1 Star (out of 4)


By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Featured at this year's Mill Valley film festival, Dreaming of Joseph Lees is about as dull as you can get. It's a period drama set in the 1940s about a woman (Samantha Morton) who falls in love with her cousin Joseph Lees (Rupert Graves), who is always traveling and has had his leg blown off in an explosion. But she ends up living with Harry (Lee Ross), a situation that is supposed to be horribly scandalous.

Directed by Eric Styles, the film drags out every old cliche in the book in its attempt to make us care: slow motion or rainfall to intensify a dramatic moment, etc. The film is flat, the actors are bland, and I didn't buy the story for a second. It's one of those stories in which everything would be solved if only someone would just speak up. Since it's an elegant, noble costume drama, it will no doubt receive lots of good notices, but Dreaming of Joseph Lees is an aggravating waste of time.

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