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A Movie That Moved Me

August 2, 2010

I must have been ten or twelve years old when I saw Touch of Class for the first time.

From the opening credits I was hooked. Here was London in all it’s summery glory. It might have been filmed in a different age when collars were huge and handsome men seemed unfeasibly old, but it still oozed glamour.

And then there was Glenda Jackson. Frosty. Stand-offishish. Mean. Argumentative. Flirtatious. How could someone be all those those things all at the same time?

And then they went on holiday. I remembered a holiday like that. I remembered getting excited by the strange glamour at the airport. It seemed like an uncomfortable proposition. But it air travel was still exciting. It was weird. I knew there would be a certain amount of readjustment required at the other end.

Vicky Alessio and Steve had their own – considerable – period of readjustment when they reached the glamourous destination of Malaga. And just when they’ve become accustomed, they have to come home. That’s when it begins to go wrong. The affair begins to fall apart. If it wasn’t bittersweet the moment they met, it certainly seemed that way when they started setting up heir flat together.

It always feels like a long story every time I watch it. I always want the laughs to last forever. But they. The reality of a divorced woman maintaining an affair with a married man is painful to watch. Then they watch Brief Encounter. Then we hear Rachmaninov. Then it’s over.

It’s not that this movie moved me the first time I watched it. The movie moves me every time I watch it. It’s as though I’m reminded of a reality I’d forgotten about the last time the credits rolled.

It’s an Oscar winning romance. Deservedly so.


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