Distant Voices, Still Lives


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.



Total Count: 37


Audience Score

User Ratings: 938
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Movie Info

Thirty years after its initial release, one of the most acclaimed films in British cinema history returns to the big screen in a new 4K digital print restored by the BFI from the original camera negative. Terence Davies' partly autobiographical tale evokes his upbringing in Liverpool after the war in a working-class home dominated by the violence of his father, fearsomely played by then newcomer Pete Postlethwaite. Using dynamic lighting, a superb soundtrack and a fragmented structure, Davies constructs a distinctive drama suffused with both beauty and horror. The film was voted the third greatest British film of all-time in a 2011 Time Out poll. (35mm print is from 2007 restoration).

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Critic Reviews for Distant Voices, Still Lives

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (30) | Rotten (7)

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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