A tender and funny coming-of-age story about single parenting and heavy metal, Days of the Bagnold Summer will screen in cinemas across Australia from February 18, 2021. The film is the directorial debut of The Inbetweeners' Simon Bird, adapted from Joff Winterhart's graphic novel of the same name.
Days of the Bagnold Summer sweetly draws you into the wobbly relationship between well-intentioned single librarian Sue Bagnold (Monica Dolan) and her black-clad teenage son Daniel (Earl Cave), who'd rather listen to Metallica than his mother.
Sue works in a library. Daniel is the pale-skinned picture of adolescent metal-head angst. This was the summer Daniel was due to spend with his dad and his dad's new wife in Florida. But when they cancel his trip at the last minute, Sue and Daniel suddenly face the prospect of six long weeks together. An epic war of wills ensues in the unassuming battleground of their suburban home as they each reckon with private tragedies - and pursue their personal passions.
Director Simon Bird comments: "Hopefully you come out of it feeling like you know these two people well and you've seen a snapshot of their life together that feels relevant to your life as well. That's what I got from the book, and what I wanted to do with the film."
Almost its own character in the film is the music, which comes courtesy of indie-folk band Belle and Sebastian. Expertly integrated into the world that Bird creates, the music forms a counterpoint to the death metal blaring from Daniel's headphones.
Days of the Bagnold Summer boasts strong supporting turns by Rob Brydon, Tamsin Grieg and Alice Lowe, but the film belongs to its two leads Earl Cave and Monica Dolan.
NSW: Golden Age, Palace Central, Palace Norton Street, Chauvel Cinema, Palace Byron Bay. VIC: Sun Theatre, Kino Cinema, Palace Dendy Brighton, Palace Balwyn, Palace Como, Pentridge Cinema, Pivotonian Geelong, Star Cinema Eaglehawk. QLD: Palace James St. ACT: Palace Electric. WA: Luna Leederville, Palace Raine Square. SA: Palace Nova. TAS: Launceston Star. NT: Araluen Arts Centre Alice Springs.