Dreaming of Joseph Lees

Director:Eric Styles
Writer:Catherine Linstrum
Fox Searchlight; R; 92 minutes
Cast:Samantha Morton, Lee Ross, Rupert Graves

If Dreaming of Joseph Lees were a romance novel, it would be written in impeccable, BBC-approved English. It would brim with period details, from well-worn clothing to lavish country descriptions. It wouldn't get hearts beating faster, however, and it might even put some late-night readers to sleep.

Samantha Morton stars as Eva, the country maid who once harbored a deep crush on her distant cousin, Joseph Lees (Rupert Graves). He has faded from the picture, and Eva slowly yields to the insistent courtship of her co-worker Harry (Lee Ross). Soon after she's left her father to move in with Harry—a bold move in 1950s England—Joseph Lees comes back into the picture. The affair between Eva and Joseph seems poised to blossom into true love, but Harry takes a melodramatic turn for the worse. He's alternately abject and ferocious as threats of suicide force Eva into a compromised position.

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