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Richard’s Things (1980)

Richard's Things poster

Or, death and how to survive it. Liv Ullmann rushes to her husband’s hospital bedside and when he dies discovers he’s been having an affair with a much younger woman in his architectural practice, the rather casually sexual Amanda Redman. Mother in law Elizabeth Spriggs (in a fine performance – I always had her stuck in my mind as a particular type from Shine On, Harvey Moon) is none too happy about how her son’s widow is dealing with things and visits when Redman is installed, having seduced her love rival.Hubby’s colleague Tim Pigott-Smith is also at hand should Liv need any more sexual favours. Shot by Freddie Young, scored by Georges Delerue, and directed by Anthony Harvey, this isn’t the work of a master but it’s acutely realistic. Frederic Raphael adapted his own novel – a surprisingly tart exploration of life and coping strategies. There is an utterly hilarious burglary carried out by the hopeless Ian McDiarmid, who is a long way from Star Wars. Liv has a great closing line: ‘There’s nothing wrong with me. That’s what’s wrong with me!’ Love her.

About elainelennon

An occasional movie-watching diary.

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