fbpx Ethel & Ernest | Gene Siskel Film Center
Chicago European Union Film Festival 2017
Chicago premiere!

Ethel & Ernest

2016, Roger Mainwood, UK, 94 min. With Jim Broadbent, Brenda Blethyn, Luke Treadaway.

Show Times

  • Fri, Mar 17th 2:00pm
  • Sat, Mar 18th 2:00pm

"Nothing short of a masterpiece...absolutely beautiful." — Chris Perkins, Animation for Adults

"Beautifully animated...[Raymond Briggs's] unique style of homeliness with an edge, ordinary lives charged with political content, told with quiet humor, has reached its highest point so far in the deeply affecting ETHEL & ERNEST." — Alexa Dalby, Britflicks

"There was nothing extraordinary about my parents," says British national treasure Raymond Briggs ("The Snowman," "When the Wind Blows"), introducing this hand-drawn animated adaptation of his autobiographical 1998 graphic novel. We first meet his parents (beautifully voiced by Brenda Blethyn and Jim Broadbent) in 1928, when cheery milkman Ernest woos and wins prim parlor maid Ethel. They settle down in a modest house in the suburbs, and for the next four decades we see extraordinary events pass by their ordinary eyes, as they cope with the Depression, indoor plumbing, the birth of their only child, the Battle of Britain, the Welfare State, the telly, the sexual revolution, their son's horrifying decision to go to art school ("There's no money in it!"), the Moon landing...and death. There are no big climaxes, just a steady procession of sharply observed moments that produce a tremendous cumulative wallop by the end. Several reviewers compared the emotional impact of the film to the telescoped marriage at the beginning of Pixar's UP, only successfully sustained over a 90-minute narrative. In English. Courtesy of The Little Film Company. DCP digital. (MR)

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