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"Dreaming of Joseph Lees"

Samantha Morton is radiant in "Dreaming of Joseph Lees."

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In Dreaming of Joseph Lees, set in 1958, Samantha Morton plays Eva, a withdrawn clerk in the rural English county of Somerset. Living at home with her doting, doddering father (Frank Finlay) and precocious younger sister (Lauren Richardson), she takes the brash step of moving in with Harry (Lee Ross), her working-class admirer, who tends pigs and looks at her with devotional eyes. Her real passion, though, is for her second cousin Joseph Lees (Rupert Graves), who disappeared into Italy years ago after losing a leg in a quarry accident and suddenly re-enters her life. The film is about how Eva, who wants only to do right by everybody, is destroyed by her own goodness. Too staid and classical, the film is nevertheless greatly enhanced by its actors, especially Morton, who has a luminous fragility, like the young Lillian Gish. She would have been wonderful in silent films.


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