Another one of this year’s crop of British films is based on a true story, and, like Military Wives, has at its heart a singing group.
In Port Isaac, Cornwall, a group of no-nonsense men make their living from fishing. Down the pub on a Friday they informally get together and sing old sea shanties. One day a group of London-based friends, all of whom work in the music industry, find themselves in Port Isaac. Danny, played by the ubiquitous Daniel Mays, takes to the sound and attempts to wrangle them into a professional act. At first Danny feels that he is doing them a favour, but the sense of community and friendship he finds begins to make him question his own life-choices.
Director Chris Foggin has taken the real story of The Fishermans’ Friends and fictionalized it to give a satisfying and heart-warming narrative. Acting stalwarts James Purefoy and Dave Johns (I, Daniel Blake) are joined by the wonderful Maggie Steed as Maggie, Tuppence Middleton as Alwyn and stand-out child actor Meadow Nobrega as Tamsyn.
Cinematographer Simon Tindall has made the most of the glorious Cornish coast, but also gives us some wonderful intimate shots, especially in the “local”.
Another prime example of the sort of film the British do so well, this work is utterly charming, at times screamingly funny, and absolutely authentic in its homage to sea-faring communities and culture.
Fisherman’s Friends currently screens as part of the MINI British Film Festival at PalaceNova Eastend and Prospect.
Click here for screening times.