Watch Ethel & Ernest
- 1 hr 35 min
Ethel & Ernest is a touching and poignant animated film that chronicles the lives of its titular characters, Ethel and Ernest Briggs. Ethel and Ernest, played by Brenda Blethyn and Jim Broadbent respectively, are an ordinary couple living in London throughout the turbulent 20th century. The film is based on the graphic novel by Raymond Brigg and is directed by Roger Mainwood. It sensitively captures the essence of the times and the struggling lives of two working-class people who had to make do with what they had while raising a family.
Set against the backdrop of major historical events such as the Great Depression, World War II, and the invention of television, Ethel & Ernest tells the story of this working-class couple who fall in love and build a life together. The film has an understated beauty that flows through the characters who simply endure life's hardships and celebrate its simple and joyful pleasures.
The film is narrated by their son, Raymond, and we see the couple's relationship develop slowly, against the backdrop of historical upheavals. They get married, have a child together, and work hard to make a living.
One of the film's greatest strengths is its ability to capture the charactersâ small moments, from early mornings reading the newspaper to snoring at night next to each other. The little idiosyncrasies and gestures that Ethel and Ernest make towards each other ensure that the audience truly feels a connection to them.
The animation style is simple but effective, with clean lines and soft colors that match the film's tone. The attention to detail is exceptional, with everything from the buildings and vehicles to the clothes carefully designed to match the specific period in which the scene is set.
The film manages to achieve an intimate feel as we follow the lives of Ethel and Ernest from the 1920s to the 1970s â years in which the world underwent radical changes. Although the mood of the film is at times melancholic, it never feels overly somber or despairing.
The characters are brought to life by an all-star cast with Broadbent and Blethyn delivering standout performances. Their voices lend a sense of authenticity and help to capture the essence of the working-class couple, creating a tangible connection between the viewer and the characters.
Luke Treadaway also delivers an excellent performance as Raymond, their son, whose narration is an integral part of the storytelling. His soft tones and wistful memories are always engaging, providing a connection between Ethel and Ernest's story and their son's perspective.
Despite covering a long span of time, the film's pacing is perfect, each moment given the time and space to breathe as we watch the characters navigate their way through life. The film is equally adept at shifting between comedic and more serious moments with ease, making the transition from one mood to another feel organic.
Ethel & Ernest tackles several social issues of the time, from the rise of the Labour Party and the fight for equal pay, to the impact of WWII on family life. It's a reflection of how much life has improved, but also how much more work still needs to be done to make the world a better place.
Overall, Ethel & Ernest is a beautifully crafted film that captures the essence of life and love in its purest form. It celebrates family, loyalty, and a deep connection to the people we love, through the characters of Ethel and Ernest, who live ordinary lives against an extraordinary backdrop. The film is a true testament to the power of the simple yet profound moments that make life worth living.
Ethel & Ernest is a 2018 animated movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 35 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.7 and a MetaScore of 72.