The Aftermath

Despite some lukewarm reviews elsewhere, I was rather fond of The Aftermath. Keira Knightley gives one of her most passionate, sexy and mature performances as Rachel, a woman travelling to Hamburg in 1946 to be re-united with her British Army Colonel husband (Jason Clarke, still a bit of a potato of an actor in my book) who’s tasked with rebuilding Germany.

They requisition a beautiful big house and allow its owners, a handsome German, Herr Lubert, and his teenage daughter, to live on there, in the attic.

Keira and Stefan are initially frosty, but soon realise they’re both really hot and have fabulous clothes that have survived the War. So they’re soon ripping off the tailored outfits and doing the unthinkable with the recent enemy.

Director James Kent, working with writer Rhidian Brook – from Brook’s best-selling novel about his own grandfather – creates a textured, elegant drama about a time rarely explored on screen, perfectly pastiching old-fashioned, classic Sunday afternoon cinema (Brief Encounter is a reference, with some of The Third Man) yet finding a modern, sexy perspective amid the rubble of the War and in the painfully resonant sense of entitlement of jumped-up little Brits thinking they can lord it in Europe.