In his first film about an openly gay man, Terence Davies casts Jack Lowden and Peter Capaldi to play poet Sassoon as a young man and in later life. Convalescing in a veterans’ hospital, and conveniently out of the public eye after publishing work that was sharply critical of the military decision-makers, Sassoon meets Wilfred Owen, a tender first relationship (if more of mind than body).
Davies counterpoints key moments in Sassoon’s life – his relationships with Ivor Novello and the aristocrat Stephen Tennant, as well as his later marriage to a woman – with beautiful readings of his poetry over montages of real images of soldiers in wartime. Featuring a wonderfully understated performance from Lowden, it’s a moving tribute to Sassoon, who grew to old age with bitter regret, having been unable to love and desire freely.
MAC’s reopening cinema programme has been generously supported by BFI FAN Covid-19 Resilience fund from the National Lottery, through the BFI Film Audience Fund. Duration includes trailers and adverts. Please note that we do not admit latecomers after the main feature has started and we have a limited food & drink policy. See more information about Relaxed Screenings here.