"A change first, ice cream after... its your favorite flavour cannabis resign."
- Bri (Alan Bates)
Based on a Peter Nichols play, Peter Medak's 'A Day in the Death of Joe Egg' is an intelligent pitch black humored morality piece concerning a couple Bri & Sheila who are faced with the difficulties of raising their vegetative-state handicapped daughter Jo. For a decade the young parents have used black comedy as a peculiar coping mechanism, but after so long their thoughts have swayed towards euthanasia or other ways out.
Not exactly a walk in the park due to its subject. Medak's movie is nonetheless a worthwhile thought provoking film, thats often darkly funny (even though you begin to laugh hesitantly). Its rare in film they treat handicapped in such an honest, none obvious award pandering manner. Both Alan Bates & Janet Suzman give truly brilliant performances, their characters (more so with Bates as the teacher Bri) dip in and out of made up persona's to help cope with their suppressed anxiety at such an hopeless situation. Being a parent can be tough even when your kids are psychically fine, hats off to any parent dealing in similar situations as here.
The movie never really loses its stageplay feel which could put off some viewers. Personally it worked great for me, even though I was initially frustrated with the casting of Peter Bowles. Who played Sheila's pal Freddie, the whole diner party segment started feel a bit like a sitcom. But he delivers some of the movies most integral lines later on. Been meaning to see this movie for years, glad I finally have. Peter Medak was the bomb around this era, I still slightly favour 'Ruling Class'.
[Personal Reasons For Remembering]
The bizarre pictures Bri painted. Bates doing the crazed German doc and by the good book priest. And that strange waiting for Father Christmas spaceship scene.
Originally taken from Letterboxd