A Bunch of Amateurs (2008)

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Director: Andy Cadiff
Cast: Burt Reynolds, Samantha Bond, Derek Jacobi, Imelda Staunton, Charles Durning


An all-washed-up, over-the-hill star of action movies gives his agent an ultimatum to find him some work, the outcome being that he is set up with a theatrical gig in the UK to play Lear at Stratford - Stratford St John, Suffolk. His co-stars are the eponymous local enthusiasts of a moribund village theatre.

The Review

In the Bleak Midwinter meets Calendar Girls meets just about every other recent Britcom set among the down-to-earth and middle class. The fact that we have been here before and that we can even speak some of the lines before the actors (and I don't mean the Bard's) does not quite remove the pleasure of seeing Reynolds in another movie, especially one in which he is such a rogue, nor that of the singularly committed comic performance by Samantha Bond, who lights up the screen and makes a lot of the nonsense seem almost real. There are occasional knowing parallels between Reynolds's character's plight and that of the old king, not least the affecting denouement where his daughter pitches up to pluck them all from disaster. In short, a decent effort.