Distant Voices, Still Lives

Distant Voices, Still Lives ★★★★★

When it's safe to do so, I'm going out with my mates and family and singing the hits of the 40s and 50s.

I've been trying to figure out why I adored this from the first shot and was left so cold by The Long Day Closes, and I think it's all in how much this varies its tone. Long Day Closes is so melancholy and reserved throughout that at a certain point I stopped having any reactions to its content besides marveling at its prettiness. But this always kept me on my toes, for how it threads notes of joy and even comedy into its generally bleak tale of working-class living and abuse, understanding that memory is unbound by any notion of tonal consistency. It's maybe even unbound by reality too; the singalongs may all be diegetic, but Davies makes them more like traditional musical numbers, more representing a feeling at that moment than a record of what happened.