Arthur Goode is a man with a mission. All around him he sees heartache as his friends keep finding their worlds collapsing. Feeling the need to get back what the world owes him and his friends, Arthur – played by Bernard Hill – and his wife Martha (Virginia McKenna) start robbing banks.
It’s not as simple as it sounds. Bernard decides to rob a bank but ends up accidentally knocking out a security guard. With this happy accident comes a new lease on life.
With a stellar cast of actors, legends all, it’s a gentle comedy tinged with sadness. Directed by relative newcomer John Miller, and co-written with Nick Knowles it’s a brave and ambitious film, but it’s certainly fun enough to keep the viewer entranced. Hill and McKenna are delightful as Arthur and Martha, and their close circle of friends, Royston and Shirley, Brian, and Thelma, are superbly played by Simon Callow, Una Stubbs, Phil Davis, and Ellen Thomas respectively.
Filmed in and around Bristol, the small-budget film is nonetheless gorgeously produced and chews up the beautiful English countryside in and around local National Trust properties.
A plot within the plot is the loggerheads dispute between ageing detective, Sid, played by Alun Armstrong, and his younger upstart colleague, Brian Stringer (Brad Moore), who rather hilariously is spray-tanned Tango-Orange, and whose eyebrows have been shaped to within an inch of their lives. It’s pretty easy early on to work out that Sid is going to win at the end of the day – but there’s a twist in the tail of this film, with the real villain of the piece being the “authorities’ and of course, the hapless Stringer.
It’s certainly an enjoyable enough film, and the West Country accents are also pleasing. The ensemble cast put in a sterling performance, and take the film smoothly over what could easily be some rough patches (there is a slightly awkward and perhaps unnecessary reference to dogging at one point). In short, ‘Golden Years’ is a nice film and certainly worth watching at least twice, or maybe more.
Golden Years is from Moli Films Entertainment, High Fliers Films and Content Media. It’s been written by Nick Knowles, John Miller and Jeremy Sheldon and Directed by John Miller, and available now to pre-order on iTunes and on DVD and on general digital release from 29th August 2016.