Plenty

[Updated: May 15,1999]

Plenty Sting plays the would-be surrogate father of Meryl Streepís unborn child in Plenty (1985). Adapted from the stage play by David Hare (who also wrote the screenplay), Plenty follows Streepís Susan Traherne, an Englishwoman unable to recapture the passion and vitality that she experienced as a Resistance supporter in WWII France. The film is set in the years that follow the war, as her life becomes increasingly consumed by loveless despair and empty materialism. Streep gives a wistful and nuanced performance as a character whose deterioration in many ways mirrors the postwar decline of the British Empire.

Recruited by Susan to father her children is working-class Mick. Showing a vulnerability rarely seen through his Police frontmanís facade, Stingís Mick finds his blossoming love for Susan unrequited following eighteen months of fruitless dalliances. Although Mick is unable to break through the class barrier separating him from Susan, their affair nonetheless gives rise to Stingís first on-screen love scene, which unfolds as the ceremonial blare of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth resounds outside the bedroom window.

Directed by Fred Schepisi (who also teamed with Streep in A Cry in the Dark), Plentyís eclectic cast features Sam Neill (The Piano) as a parachuting English spy whose single night of idealistic passion with Susan during the war lingers in her mind throughout the film; the lively British comedienne Tracey Ullman as a carefree friend whose vivacity offers a contrast to Susanís self-debilitating despair; and the always distinguished Sir John Gielgud as an English diplomat named Sir Leonard Darwin.

Plenty

Twentieth Century Fox (USA)

R

Color

124 minutes

Directed by: Fred Schepisi

Produced by: Edward R. Pressman (RKO)

Joseph Papp (RKO)

Written by: David Hare

(based on his play of the same name)

Cast:

Susan Traherne Meryl Streep
Raymond Brock Charles Dance
Alice Park Tracey Ullman
Sir Leonard Darwin John Gielgud
Mick Sting
Sir Andrew Charleson Ian McKellen
Lazar Sam Neill
Mr. Aung Burt Kwouk
Madame Aung Pik Sen Lim
Villon Andre Maranne
Michael Hugh Laurie
Medlicott Ian Wallace

Also:

Ian Baker

Cinematography

Peter Honess Editing
Bruce Smeaton Music
Tony Reading Art Direction
Adrian Smith Art Direction
Richard MacDonald Production Design
Ruth Myers Costume Design


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