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United Kingdom · 2020
1h 40m
Director Jessica Swale
Starring Gemma Arterton, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Lucas Bond, Penelope Wilton
Genre Drama

During World War II, reclusive writer Alice has her sequestered life upended when Frank, an evacuee from the London Blitz, is left in her care. Despite initially resolving to be rid of him, Alice finds herself and her emotions reawakened by him.

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Screen Rant by

Between its familiar premise and genuine performances, Summerland is occasionally hindered by melodrama, but is overall a very sweet film.


The Hollywood Reporter by David Rooney

As capable as the actors are, I can't say I cared much about any of the characters, which made the emotionally uplifting climax feel underpowered. The scope for which this handsome but bland film strives so hard is present mainly in the wide-open spaces of its picturesque locations.


The A.V. Club by Ignatiy Vishnevetsky

The above-average cast of adult and child actors has its charming moments, but once the plot enters the tearjerker cliché phase, it becomes clear that what we are being offered is a nostalgia that’s no different from the kind that extolls more conservative values. It’s less a new coat of paint than a varnish.


Slant Magazine by Jake Cole

Throughout, the film’s characters exhibit little life outside of their moments of tragedy and symbolic connections.


Variety by Jessica Kiang

Summerland is very pretty, and bursts with affection for its gently befuddled characters, but for all its eager charms, streaming like colored pennants from every turret, it’s a castle in the air.


San Francisco Chronicle by Mick LaSalle

The main appeal of Summerland, a considerable one, is that it allows Gemma Arterton to hold the screen for a nearly unbroken 90 minutes. It showcases her in a variety of modes and moods and provide some huge acting moments that make us recognize that, somewhere along the line, Arterton has become a powerhouse.


Rolling Stone by Peter Travers

A sweet, soft-centered pastoral drama that’s never as tough-minded as you want it to be. Thankfully, in her feature debut as a filmmaker, playwright Jessica Swale shows a genuine flair with actors.


Boston Globe by Ty Burr

Spectacular locations on the southeast coast of England and a handful of fine performances are the best that can be said for Summerland, but that’s still better than most.

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