Review: Summer in February

Based on a true story by Jonathan Smith, Summer in February brings to life the heart-breaking and scandalous love triangle between famous painter AJ Munnings (Dominic Cooper), aspirant artist Florence Carter-Wood (Emily Browning) and gentleman Gilbert Evans (Dan Stevens).

By Alison Devlin
Friday, 14th June 2013, 9:27 am
What's on where
What's on where

Set during pre-WW1, a group of young unruly bohemian artists in the Lamorna Society (situated on the Cornish coast) are escaping the oppressions of Edwardian society.

And on a stormy night, while enjoying some poetry reading by the captivating AJ Munnings, Florence Carter-Wood enters the party and turns both AJ and Gilberts heads creating an intense jealousy and competition between the two.

After the recent resurrection of period dramas on our TV screens, it wouldn’t be long until directors started to play towards our love of the simple scandals of yesteryear.

Although this film is definitely no Pride and Prejudice, it is engaging enough to entertain the diehard costume drama fans however; it doesn’t offer any deep character interpretations or resolutions.

The developments of relationships between our couple of characters are portrayed weakly.

Don’t expect to be on the edge of your seat, and certainly don’t think it will be as unique and appealing as Downton Abbey purely because it contains Dan Stevens (who plays the late character of Matthew Crawley in the BBC series).

He is absolutely perfect for his role as an English gentleman, which could mean will be continually cast as this stereotypical character.

Stevens’ co-star Emily Browning is perfect as the hesitant and experimental Florence; you would never tell that the actress was Australian originate.

Though her character is questionable with decisions, you still relate to her trying to liberate herself from her father’s oppression through art and love.

If I were to nitpick at what parts of the narrative irritated me the most, I would have to admit that they missed on a crucial chance to tell an interesting, unrequited love story between one of the married artists Laura Wright (Hattie Morahan) and her idol, AJ.

It would have made for more drama and we can all relate to unreturned feelings from our heroes, be it a famous actor, singer or writer.

Director: Christopher Menaul

Writer: Jonathan Smith

Stars: Dominic Cooper, Emily Browning and Dan Stevens