Cover of "Tamara Drewe"

Cover of Tamara Drewe

I never saw the 2010 British film, Tamara Drewe, in the theatre, only on DVD.  That was sufficient, however, for letting me know that the problem with the film is that it reveals too little about its title character, Tamara Drewe.  Still, based on a graphic novel by Posy Simmonds, the film is robust and sophisticated, and actress Gemma Arterton does all she can with Tamara.

Miss Drewe is a formerly unattractive gal who, after getting a nose job, returns to her rural town a real beauty, and then gets into some vexing scrapes with lovers and foes alike.  It’s probably one of Stephen Frears’s best.

Only 65% of critics recommend this film (source: Rotten Tomatoes on the Internet), but that scarcely matters.  Why?  Because most movie critics write claptrap.  In fact, usually they’re not even critics, they’re reviewers.  As John Simon indicated long ago, true criticism is written in such a way that it invites the reader to think, whereas the reviewer does the reader’s thinking for him or her.  That’s what they’ve done with Tamara Drewe, which in any case deserves better than a response of claptrap.