A Day in the Death of Joe Egg (1972) Film Review

A Day in the Death of Joe Egg


Bri (Alan Bates) and Sheila (Janet Suzman) are a young, loving couple living in seventies London. He is a teacher, she is an actor. He has graphic sexual fantasies about her as he deals with his wayward children. When he comes home, they flirt and carry on until their daughter, Jo (Elizabeth Robillard), returns from her day at school, then they take care of her into the evening. It’s not all fun times, though, as Jo is severely retarded, confined to a wheelchair and unable to communicate or respond in any meaningful fashion. Bri is at his wit’s end, and it is when friends come to visit that things reach a head.

I’d not heard of this film previously, but it appears to be based on a quite well-known British play. A recent stage adaptation of the play was staged featuring Edie Izzard as Bri. I could see a lot of comic actors showing interest in this role, as while it has a lot of drama when dealing with the disabled daughter and the emotional rollercoaster of their life, it is also extremely humourous. The interactions between Bri and Sheila and directed to Jo are almost horrible in their humour. The film is quite dated, but still a truly great watch.




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