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Plenty (1985)

By Luisa F. Ribeiro | Posted

This searing adaptation of playwright David Hare's look at post-World War II Britain marks one of the few times in Meryl Streep's career when the Goddess of Acting got mixed reviews--even some downright pans. Whether the slams were aimed at Streep or her unrelenting character, the romantic-turned-caustic Susan Traherne, is debatable, but merely mentioning the film in certain circles can still raise hackles. Plenty admittedly isn't to everyone's taste, but for those who find diversion in the unexpected it's a stimulating trip down disillusionment road. An English volunteer to the French Resistance, Susan nearly ruins a crucial mission but in the process becomes enthralled by the zest of living purely in the moment. Her tragedy occurs when the war ends and she realizes that neither she nor Britain will ever rediscover that clarity of purpose. Despite a highly charged liaison with another Resistance member (an enigmatic Sam Neill), Susan eventually marries a stolid career diplomat (Charles Dance) and comes to loathe everything he represents in the new Britain.

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