2009 Certificate: 12


Movie legend Jean Simmons is Hannah, an aged free spirit who lives in a large house on England's north Norfolk coast. Content to pass her days with poetry and her much younger friend Joe, who supplies her with cannabis to ease the pain of a long illness, Hannah's summer becomes more eventful when her son and his two kids arrive. Genteel drama that grans would find little to grumble about.


  • David Rocksavage


  • Jean Simmons

  • James Wilby

  • Jamie Dornan

  • Ophelia Lovibond

  • Toby Marlow


Director David Rocksavage is also known as the 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley, and good breeding runs through Shadows In The Sun.

Jean Simmons may be pleased that what is possibly her final screen apperance is in a film that could have been made in 1944, the year she entered movies, with only minor tweaks for ganja indulgence and a suggested sex ref.

Heartfelt and well-behaved, this slight story of a divorced man attempting a reconciliation with his prickly mum is gracefully watchable, but resistant to embrace any actual drama.

Wilby's Robert is an accommodating dad, understanding of his mum's need to puff pot, and why his daughter (Lovibond) has the hots for wandering spirit Joe (Dornan).

Robert is also understanding of his son (Marlow) and his adolescent confusion and grief that his nan will soon shuffle off the coil we call mortal.

All this leaves Rocksavage without a clear direction to point his film in, and the characters' rarified natures (the selling of a first edition book collection is a major reveal) may put some off.

But, everyone can enjoy the Norfolk coastal scenery and an "active retireds" audience with little to do on a wet Wednesday afternoon surely awaits.