Black Mountain Poets




A great female duo, Alice Lowe and Dolly Wells feature in a film by Jamie Adams arguably aimed at those who like the idea of a film that echoes Sightseers, but without the violence.


Black Mountain Poets

Sister sonnets: Alice Lowe and Dolly Wells


Alice Lowe made her name in the black comedy Sightseers, and now Black Mountain Poets, which is set in Wales, finds her taking to the road once again. Both films may appeal primarily to a young audience but their tone could hardly be more different. This time the only criminal activities come at the start when Lisa (Lowe’s role) and her sister Claire (Dolly Wells) are caught trying to break into a yard and then steal a car to make good their escape. Actually this set up is just an excuse to show them hiding away at a gathering of Welsh poets where they pass themselves off as the guest speakers who are awaited, the sisters Alys and Terry Wilding.

Jamie Adams’s slight but amiable film makes fun of poets while also finding much humour in the sibling interaction between Lisa and Claire. Even when they are not seen as rivals for the affections of one of the real would-be poets, Richard (Tom Cullen), the sisters exhibit rivalry in addition to having a real bond. That Richard’s ex-girlfriend, Louise (Rosa Robson), becomes jealous of both of them provides an additional story-thread and it is no surprise when late on the real Alys and Terry Wilding put in an appearance.

Given that much of the dialogue was doubtless improvised, the film is helped enormously by the teamwork of Lowe and Wells while Cullen (from 2011’s Weekend) provides adept support. Black Mountain Poets could never be accused of sophistication, but its audience is unlikely to be looking for that and in the second half the comedy tends to yield acceptably to romantic drama without turning heavy-handed. The film hardly amounts to anything very special, but viewers of the same age as the main characters may well find it endearing.    


MANSEL STIMPSON               


Cast: Alice Lowe, Dolly Wells, Tom Cullen, Rosa Robson, Richard Elis, Laura Patch, Hannah Daniel, Claire Cage.


Dir Jamie Adams, Pro Jon Rennie and Jamie Adams, Screenplay Jamie Adams, Ph Ryan Owen Eddleston, Art Dir Rachel Jammali, Ed Mike Hopkins, Music Ashley Adams, Costumes Kay Anderson.

Jolene Films Limited-Metrodome Distribution Ltd.
85 mins. UK. 2015. Rel: 1 April 2016. Cert. 15