Distant Voices, Still Lives

Critics Consensus

Bracingly original and beautifully composed, Distant Voices, Still Lives is an invigorating period drama that finds director Terence Davies in peak form.

80%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 40

82%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 944

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Movie Info

Siblings Maisie (Lorraine Ashbourne) and Tony (Dean Williams), along with their mother (Freda Dowie), gather for their sister Eileen's (Angela Walsh) wedding. It is a joyous occasion, but through flashbacks it becomes clear that the family was not always happy. Their father (Pete Postlethwaite) was physically abusive to his wife, and left the children emotionally traumatized. As a result, the children have grown into unhappy adults, looking for love they didn't receive when they were young.

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Critic Reviews for Distant Voices, Still Lives

All Critics (40) | Top Critics (18) | Fresh (32) | Rotten (8)

  • For all the formal technique and the theatrically controlled tableaux, the drama is vividly present and alive.

    August 30, 2018 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • Enthralling...

    August 28, 2018 | Full Review…
  • With an unfailing eye for place, décor, costume, and gesture, the director glides his camera through tangles of memories to evoke joys and horrors with a similar sense of wonder.

    September 22, 2014 | Full Review…
  • A gripping and original piece of work, itself sure to be remembered as one of the finest films of the year.

    June 2, 2014 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Just as you think you have its moves all doped out, a scene of such shocking beauty flashes before you that it takes your breath away.

    June 2, 2014 | Full Review…
  • When a forty-four-year-old man makes a movie about his family and friends sitting around singing old tunes, you certainly don't expect an unforgettable amalgam of humor and heartbreak. But that is precisely what Terence Davies delivers.

    June 2, 2014 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Distant Voices, Still Lives

  • Feb 10, 2011
    Terence Davis moving, harrowing and elegantly artistic masterpiece is one of the few Britsh films of recent years to embody a distinctly British identity. The plot involves a family wedding in working class Liverpool just after the second world war and the various episodes in the family's past dealing with their sometimes brutal and disturbed father. The beauty of the film lies in the deeply artistic composition of various shots, coupled with Davis' enduring compassion and understanding for the chararcters, especially the father played brilliantly by Pete Postlethwaite. It is an incredible evocation of family life and even though at times it makes for hard viewing, this is a film that must be seen.
    Cassandra M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 23, 2008
    Pete Postlethwaite never made enough films for me. A great earlier performance from him here.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Jun 04, 2008
    Terence Davies's autobiographical film of working-class life in 1940s/50s Liverpool. A brilliant, emotional and powerful film full of great acting. The story is told through memories and switches between childhood and adulthood. Unique and highly recommended.
    Emily B Super Reviewer

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