The film’s look is interesting but it is almost always the same from start to finish with a lot of greys and darks, giving the cinematography by Adam Etherington a permanent gloom that does work well with the story, but given how the story feels slow and gloomy itself, the images reinforce that and may cause some viewers to lose interest. The film is well done on all accounts, but even with these images showing all there is to see, even in the dark, something feels missing here. It’s beautifully gloomy, it’s dark, but something just doesn’t connect for this reviewer.
What does connect however is the performances. Lead actress Eleanor Worthington-Cox gives a great performance filled with nuances and little details that take it above and beyond that of anyone else in a film that is filled with great performances. Her work anchors the film and keeps the viewer involved with the story, even when everything starts feeling too slow. Her work is why one should watch the film. In the part of Elen is actress Maxine Peake who is a great source of emotions and turmoil for both Gwen and the viewer. Her performance is something that is more than just second to Worthington-Cox, she shines as well. The rest of the cast is also good, but they get much less screen time and thus less of a chance to make an impression.
The Bridge Explosion in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Had to Be Shot Twice. The big scene in this Spaghetti Western classic—when Blondie and Tuco blow up the bridge leading to the cemetery where the gold is believed to be buried—had to be shot twice. A misunderstanding led to the dynamite around the bridge being detonated before cameras were ready to catch it, requiring the bridge to be rebuilt and the whole thing to be shot again.
Gwen is a moody dark film with great performances all around, but the film as a whole feels a bit bland or like something is missing. This means that all the cinematography, the performances, and the production design are enjoyable, but something still feels like it’s missing for some reason and that is rather unfortunate considering all the talent found in the film.