Wednesday 18 Dec 2013
Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson star in The Song Of Lunch, a powerful and visually arresting film, made by BBC Drama Production for BBC Two, to mark National Poetry Day on 7 October.
The film, a dramatisation of Christopher Reid's narrative poem, tells the story of an unnamed book editor (Alan Rickman) who, 15 years after their break-up, is meeting his former love (Emma Thompson) for a nostalgic lunch at Zanzotti's, the Soho restaurant they used to frequent.
"The Woman" is now living a glamorous life in Paris, married to a world-renowned writer, while the unnamed editor has failed in his writing career, detests his mundane publishing job and regrets the end of their love affair.
When he arrives at Zanzotti's he finds it under new management and much changed, and this seems to fuel his resentment about growing older and being left behind. The stage is set for an emotional and bittersweet reunion.
As the wine flows, and the couple rake over their failed relationship, nostalgia turns to recrimination.
The single film sees Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson working together once again – they both starred in Sense And Sensibility and Alan directed Emma in A Winter Guest.
Poet Christopher Reid won the Costa Book Of The Year for A Scattering, in early 2010. The Song Of Lunch has been described as displaying the full range of Christopher Reid's wit, craft and human sympathy.*
The Song Of Lunch is directed by Niall MacCormick (Wallander, The Long Walk To Finchley) with producer Pier Wilkie (Criminal Justice) and executive producers Greg Wise and Sarah Brown for the BBC.
*John Bayley, Poetry Review