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Limey Movies 

Wednesday, Feb 5 2014

"Screen acting involves not just readability," writes the quintessentially English thespian Michael York in his book A Shakespearean Actor Prepares, "but that temperance and smoothness that Hamlet so admired." York would know, being a guest of honor at the sixth Mostly British Film Festival, where he'll introduce a 1973 film he was in called England Made Me, derived not from the Bard but from a Graham Greene novel. Britishness, in film, so often works by perpetuating that smoothness, signaling the traditional grandeur of make-believe. Presenting 25 films, this year's festival opens with a pre-release showing of the darkly seasoned romantic comedy Le Week-End, starring Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan as an older British couple quarreling away their anniversary in Paris, with quirky help from Jeff Goldblum; and closes with the historical drama Summer in February, an augury of the big-screen efforts for which Dan Stevens let his Downton Abbey character get killed off — and which, therefore, had better be good, but also stars Dominic Cooper and Emily Browning, and therefore likely will at the very least be enjoyable to behold. Britishness, in film, means having an American audience that's ready to swoon.

Feb. 13-20, 2014

About The Author

Jonathan Kiefer

SF Weekly movie critic Jonathan Kiefer is on Twitter: @kieferama and of course @sfweeklyfilm.

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