Queen and Country. 2014. Great Britain. Directed by John Boorman. 105 min.
Our weekend with John Boorman, who presents Leo the Last and Excalibur in To Save and Project: The 12th MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation, comes to an immensely satisfying close as he introduces his most recent film, Queen and Country. After so memorably portraying the London Blitz as a child’s wonderland in Hope and Glory (1987), Boorman returns to family memoir in the most touching and irreverent of ways, looking back on his misspent years as a pranksterish, 18-year-old army conscript in the early 1950s, when the twin specters of the Korean front and the opposite sex loomed large over his antic adventures. The postwar fate of his middle-class suburban London family—and the nation as a whole, in search of renewed purpose—is also vividly evoked through Boorman’s masterful storytelling and the film’s sterling performances by a youthfully exuberant Callum Turner, Caleb Landry Jones, and Tamsin Egerton, and by the veteran actors Sinead Cusack, Richard E. Grant, David Thewlis, and David Hayman. Courtesy of BBC Worldwide North America.