The Song of Lunch (2010)

  • Year: 2010
  • Released: 08 Oct 2010
  • Country: United Kingdom
  • Adwords: Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. 4 nominations total
  • IMDb:
  • Rotten Tomatoes:
  • Metacritics:
  • Available in: 720p, 1080p,
  • Language: English
  • MPA Rating: N/A
  • Genre: Drama, Romance
  • Runtime: 50 min
  • Writer: Niall MacCormick, Christopher Reid
  • Director: Niall MacCormick
  • Cast: Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Andi Soric
  • Keywords:

The Song of Lunch Storyline

An existential parable of a wistful journey to one’s heady youth with the excitement and bitterness of that time trapped in the mind. A former romance is re-evaluated by the rose-colored filter of time, but confronted by the present. Time has moved on, but the past has trapped the author.—Gerard Hosier

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The Song of Lunch Movie Reviews

An Erotic Lunch

Alan Rickman plays a jaded publisher meeting a past flame (Emma Thompson) at an old haunt, now impersonally renovated. The publisher has a one-track mind and views her every move as erotic.

This is a dramatised narrative poem. I’m sceptical about modern poetry but this one’s quite good. It may be familiar ground but a lot of the phrases are actually quite good: consciously poetic but a concise description. Fans of Alan Rickman might find it hard to control himself as his character is aroused by everything: a squeezed hand, a glass of wine meeting his lips, a comely waitress, even a pepper shaker. The story is told through his perspective, much of it as voice-over. The switch between voice-over and dialogue really works, creating tension and drama in what is a fairly undramatic scene. It’s like a short play.

Both Rickman and Thompson speak the blank verse (with the occasional rhyme) very naturally. Their characters are intellectual people and the talk comes naturally to them, particularly Rickman’s emotionally/creatively/sexually frustrated character.

It’s only 50 minutes so it’s worth a watch. It would have been nice if it were part of a series of poems.

Best adaption of a poem to film I have seen

It is not easy to transfer poetry to film. Poetry does not tell a story like a simple novel, with the plot explained in logical prose. Instead it approaches the subject sideways; with ideas, hints and suggestions with which, by enrichment from your own experience, you arrive at a shadowy glimpse of something profound about what it is to be human.

This films achieves this in just the same way that a poem does. It is a brilliant film that I could watch over and over again, getting more from it each time. This is because the poem and film are catalysts to the beholder’s share, which will be different each time I view as my mood changes, and my experiences grow.

If you don’t understand poetry then this film could be rather bleak, since it dwells on ageing, lost love, mortality and similar themes. If you accept that these themes are ever present in our daily lives and we have to come to terms with them, and you understand and enjoy poetry then this is a must see film for you.

The pain of lunch

Christopher Reed’s poem ‘The Song of Lunch’ is brought brilliantly to life here by Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson, two fine actors and, though like most actors they sometimes waste time (and make money, no doubt) in rubbish, here we see them both at the top of their games. Rickman has the harder role, since he also has to narrate the verse; but Thompson handles herself excellently opposite him, never attempting to claim a larger space than is available but filling what is there perfectly. The story is a classic male tragedy, of a drunken middle-aged man whose awareness of his own increasing unattractiveness is a self-fulfilling prophesy; but the observation and psychology are razor sharp, and the words clear and cutting. It could be thought a bold move to dramatise a poem; but with this level of quality at all levels, perhaps the success of this project was never really in doubt.