The Long Day Closes (1992)



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Movie Info

Terence Davies' blissful, evocative and non-narrative follow-up to his Distant Voices, Still Lives follows a few months in the life of 12-year-old Bud (Leigh McCormack), in impressionistic snatches of his everyday existence growing up in the Liverpool of 1956. Bud's world is influenced by his mother (Marjorie Yates), his older sister Helen (Ayse Owens), and his older brothers John (Nicholas Lamont) and Kevin (Anthony Watson). Bud is a lonely and quiet child whose moments of solace occur when he sits in rapture at the local cinema, watching towering and iconic figures on the movie screen. The movies give Bud the strength to get through another day as he deals with his oppressive school environment and his burgeoning homosexuality.


Critic Reviews for The Long Day Closes

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (2)

[An] exquisite, impressionistic, largely autobiographical reverie ...

Feb 29, 2016 | Full Review…

Terence Davies' most underrated work: a cinematic hymn to the echoes and sensations of childhood - a paradise gained and lost.

Oct 30, 2018 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Little more than a glorified scrapbook.

Aug 30, 2018 | Full Review…

There is no story here.

Jul 23, 2018 | Full Review…

Davies and his brilliant cinematographer, Michael Coulter, have created images to be savored in the dark, portraits that make dramatic use of light and shadow.

Apr 17, 2018 | Full Review…

There's no traditional story to speak of here, no dramatic conflict to send the characters off on a goal or motivating action to set a series of events in motion. Rather, Davies offers cinematic snapshots capturing privileged moments...

Apr 3, 2014 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Long Day Closes

a lyrical ode to a boy's love for cinema, incorporating songs from the 50s and dialogue from classic hollywood films. it's a unique approach, rendering an impression of memories rather than a straight narrative structure. very well done

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

Wasn't that big of a fan of Distant Voices, Still Lives but I liked this look at Bud. Interesting issues of growing up gay in an intolerant time.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

If you see poetry as a way of looking at life- a particular awareness or appreciation perhaps- then this film is about as close as you can get to a representation of poetry on film (along with Davies earlier- and quite similar biographical film- 'Distant Voices, Still Lives'). Memory sometimes reduces things into metonymy, and this could be used to explain the beautiful simplicity of the visuals- usually emphasising a certain aspect of living- time passing, light hitting a surface etc... bringing it out of obscurity and making the viewer focus singularly on that aspect... which is why this film could be labelled transcendental. Things that pass, or are taken for granted in everyday life transcend themselves in this film. If you have enjoyed this film I would strongly recommend that you see 'Distant Voices, Still Lives' as well as the great works of directors such as Robert Bresson and Andrei Tarkovsky- examples of other directors whose gaze turns life into poetry. Was the above review useful to you?

Cassandra Maples
Cassandra Maples

Super Reviewer

A follow up to the excellent 'Distant Voices, Still Lives' and, for me, an even better film. I haven't seen either film for many years but both films left a profound emotional effect on me. The Long Day Closes (as with Distant Voices) has quite a loose narrative structure and has no plot as such. It's more a kind of meditation on memory, especially of childhood and working-class family life and it is quite heavy with nostalgia. In some sequences there is very little happening, becoming more abstract. But that's the beauty of it - it's deeply cinematic and it draws you into it's spell and I find it deeply moving. Terence Davies has only made a handful of films, I have only seen three and they are magnificent. The other film of his I have seen, The House of Mirth, he gave us a performance by Gillian Anderson that was so incredibly moving it made me realise how much she has been wasted all the years she was tied to playing Dana Skully in The X Files! I just wish Davies would make more films!

William Sleet
William Sleet

Super Reviewer

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