The Winter Guest


The Winter Guest

Infobox Film
name = The Winter Guest


image_size =
caption = Theatrical release poster
director = Alan Rickman
producer = Steve Clark-Hall
writer = Sharman Macdonald,
Alan Rickman
narrator =
starring = Emma Thompson,
Phyllida Law,
Gary Hollywood,
Arlene Cockburn,
Sheila Reid,
Sandra Voe,
Douglas Murphy
music = Michael Kamen
cinematography = Seamus McGarvey
editing = Scott Thomas
distributor =
released = December 24, 1997
runtime = 108 min
country = United Kingdom,
United States
language = English
budget =
gross =
preceded_by =
followed_by =
website =
amg_id =
imdb_id = 0120521

"The Winter Guest" (1997) was British actor Alan Rickman's debut as a director, and stars Emma Thompson and Phyllida Law. Sean Biggerstaff (best known for his role as Oliver Wood in a couple of the Harry Potter movie series) is also in it.

Set in Scotland (where Sean Biggerstaff was born) on one cold winter's day, The Winter Guest focuses on 8 people; a mother and daughter, Elspeth (Phyllida Law) and Frances (Emma Thompson); two young boys skipping school, Sam (Douglas Murphy) and Tom (Sean Biggerstaff); two old women who frequently go to strangers funerals, Chloe (Sandra Voe) and Lily (Sheila Reid); and two teenagers Nita (Arlene Cockburn) and Alex (Gary Hollywood).

The plot of the story is interactions between two young boys, two teenagers, a mother, a grandmother, and two elderly women. It can be said though that the main actor in the film is frozen sea, and the rest of the stories are only surreal background to it.

The film is based on Sharman MacDonald's warmly-received play, premiered at the West Yorkshire Playhouse (in the Quarry studio theatre, 23rd January to 18th February 1995) before transferring to the Almeida Theatre in London (14th March to 15th April 1995).

Like the film it was also directed by Alan Rickman, starring Phillida Law, Sandra Voe and Sheila Reid, with Sian Thomas in the role of Frances, played in the film by Emma Thompson. But it was "Robin Dons' remarkable set...that grabs you before anything else" (Michael Billington in The Guardian, 25th January 1995): a house interior, promenade and snowbound seascape, which won Don the Design award in the Critics' Circle Theatre Awards in 1995.

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