Judi Dench¬†begins tight as an oyster, encrusted with age and depression and disappointment. She opens and lightens and unstiffens as she remembers the dance of girlhood, freezes as she recalls the tragedies that the war brought her as a married woman.¬†Ben Whishaw, a long bent reed, becomes steadily more oppressed as he remembers the deaths that have happened all around him. In the beginning he looks crushed, his trousers puddling around his ankles; at the end he is desiccated. This is not a man who could ever have had wings.”

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elise white