Watch Nelly's Version
- 1 hr 43 min
Nelly's Version is a 1983 drama film directed by Maurice Hatton and based on the novel of the same name by British author Stanley Middleton. The film stars Eileen Atkins as Nelly, a middle-aged woman who reflects on her past relationships and struggles with her current marriage. The story takes place in Nottingham, England, where Nelly and her husband Charles (Anthony Bate) live a relatively mundane life. Charles is a university professor while Nelly spends her days as a housewife, looking after their home and caring for their children. Despite appearing content on the surface, Nelly is in fact deeply dissatisfied with her life, feeling unfulfilled and frustrated with her marriage. Nelly's dissatisfaction stems from her resentment towards Charles, who she believes has failed to understand or appreciate her. She feels trapped in their relationship, unable to express herself or pursue her own desires. Nelly's bitterness has also caused her to distance herself from her friends and family, further isolating her from the world around her. As the film progresses, Nelly begins to reflect on her past relationships with other men, including a former lover named Michael (Alan Bates) who reappears in her life. These memories, along with her current situation, force Nelly to confront some difficult truths about herself, her marriage, and her relationship with Charles. Though the film touches on themes of love, regret, and self-discovery, it is primarily a character study of Nelly, played brilliantly by Eileen Atkins. Atkins delivers a nuanced and complex performance, imbuing Nelly with a sense of vulnerability and authenticity that makes her journey all the more compelling. One of the film's greatest strengths is its use of flashbacks, which are intercut throughout the narrative to explore Nelly's past relationships and experiences. These flashbacks are expertly woven into the film, providing insight into Nelly's character and motivations without feeling heavy-handed or contrived. Another standout aspect of Nelly's Version is its exploration of gender roles and societal expectations. Through Nelly's struggles with her marriage and her own desires, the film highlights the ways in which women were often marginalized and oppressed in the 20th century. Nelly's dissatisfaction with her role as a wife and mother reflects broader societal issues around gender roles and the limited opportunities available to women at the time. Finally, the film is anchored by its strong supporting cast, particularly Anthony Bate as Charles and Barbara Jefford as Nelly's mother. Both actors provide nuanced and empathetic performances, helping to flesh out the film's themes of family, obligation, and societal pressure. Overall, Nelly's Version is a well-crafted and deeply affecting drama that will resonate with anyone who has struggled with feelings of dissatisfaction or unfulfilled desire. The film is a powerful indictment of societal expectations and gender roles, and an intimate portrait of one woman's journey towards self-discovery and renewal.