Tamara Drewe review – romp and circumstance in the country

Posted on 7 September 2010
By Andy Johnson
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Tamara Drewe is the dream plotline you wish to give the Midsommer Murders episodes that you have to endure with Mum and Grandma on a quiet Sunday evening.

Gemma Arteton proves she has comic chops under those Bond girl looks – starring as a newspaper journalist torn between her first boyfriend and a rock star.

The Quantam Of Solace beauty, 24, shines in a series of great flashbacks to Tamara’s awkward countryside childhood complete with huge hooter and desperate desire to bed anything in trousers.

Dominic Cooper plays drummer Ben and earns his plaudits for learning to pound the skins with his toes to seduce the columnist, with great aplomb.

But it is Jessica Barden who steals the show as Jody, the disgruntled teenager, desperate to escape her rural prison in ‘the bumhole of nowhere.’

Said ‘bumhole’ is the picturesque village of Ewedown, Dorset and Jody, enlisting her friend Casey, conceives a machievelian plot to bring Ben bursting from the pages of the celeb mags to their doorstep.

The scene is set at a writers retreat run by pompous crime novelist and serial adulterous shagger Nicolas Hardimen (played brilliantly by Roger Allam) and his long suffering wife (Tamsin Grieg).

The painful product placement of Waitrose, Apple Macs and phones is broken by the excellent use of email as a device to spell out the downfall for the lead characters.

Gemma Arteton’s star is rising fast and at the Leicester Square premiere it’s easy to see why. The Prince of Persia star exudes a natural air of grace, as she walks down the red carpet wearing a floor-length cream Gucci dress.

The English beauty is a throwback to the golden days when movie stars enjoyed the attention from fans, basked in the limelight and didn’t dive for the nearest hidden exit or blacked out limousine.

Gemma admitted to not wanting the role to begin with, saying: “I didn’t actually want to play Tamara when I first read it because I didn’t like her.

“She’s a femme fatale but she’s really lost, she’s desperate, she’s a very modern woman. I know a lot of women like Tamara Drewe.

“It’s good to play people that you don’t understand originally because you have to work out why they do the things that they do.”

But it certainly won’t do her acting CV any harm, adding more warmth and vulnerability to the action and eye candy roles she’s filled previously.

Director Stephen Frears, who wore red sneakers to the premiere, confided that he was blessed to finally attract Arterton to the character.

He said: “She is a witty lady, Gemma. She’s gorgeous, witty and a very good actress. She just had everything I needed, really.”

Watch this space… http://bit.ly/9yOCi7 for Purple Revolver’s chat with Gemma about her adventures shooting with cows in the countryside.

Tamara Drewe opens nationwide on September 10.