Directed by Rachid Bouchareb, this movie is set in England during and following the bus bombings of July seventh, 2005. A long widowed mother, Elisabeth (Brenda Blethyn) has been watching the happenings on her television during the day, leaving messages for her daughter, Jane, to call her back. Where is her daughter who is prompt in returning calls?
Elisabeth lives in the lush countryside by the river on a small farm. She spends her days doing many different things with tending to her animals and with her church activity. She frequents the cemetery where her husband, William, has been laid to rest after his service in the war. She talks to him as if they were carrying on a conversation and also sees her brother Edward at the farm. Hers is a simple but fulfilling life.
A lone man, Ousmane (Sotigui Kouyate), has traveled from Africa fifteen years prior, now residing in France although has journeyed to London. He has come to look for his son Ali, after the bombing has caused him to go missing. Ousmane had promised his wife that he will find and return him to his family in Africa. Ousmane and his wife live separate lives, although their son is first priority.
Elisabeth becomes more and more desperate while waiting for the phone to ring with Jane safely on the line, although no call comes for her. The next morning she quickly goes into London to her daughter's flat. Jane is not there and hasn't been since the day before. Elisabeth starts the necessary steps to search for her daughter while during this time Ousmane is doing the same for his son Ali.
The movie poses: How in the world does this unlikely pair meet to search for their children? What do they find alike in each other? Along with, Could it be possible to not find their children alive?
This is a very human story which is very slow paced, happily so for me. It gave time to really drink in the deep emotions that come to the surface and the blending of two completely opposite people as far as religious beliefs. Exploring more of the pain and the depth of feeling in the characters of Elisabeth and Ousmane through this horrid situation. The director digs deep with Brenda Blethyn to bring out a range of pure gut-wrenching pain to happiness and everything in between. She is just spectacular in this movie, as is Sotigui Kouyate in his own quiet expressive way.
Be ready to run the 'gamut' in this scenic and overtly emotional movie.