A Song for Jenny full movie review - A London story
A song for Jenny is based on Julie Nicholson's book about the death of her daughter in the Edgware Road bombing in July 7 2005. This drama commemorates the 10th anniversary of the 7/7 attacks in London.
The drama is overwrought, distressing as we see the Nicholson family at first waiting for news of the fate of their daughter, hopes that she may be alive slowly vanishing as the days go on. Then there is the harrowing aftermath once her body is identified and making the preparations for the funeral while feeling anger for those responsible for the bombings.
Emily Watson gives a stoic performance and brings nuances to her character which shows her skills as an actress because I think the script was flawed which affected the drama. It lacked a time and place of the setting to give it some context.
I remember driving to walk on the 7 July, 24 hours earlier London had been awarded the Olympics by what seemed like a narrow margin. I was listening to the radio where sport stars were being interviewed of Britain holding the Olympics which was cut short as reports came in of power outages in the underground network and it slowly dawned that this was a terrorist incident. Jubilation turned into horror.
Then there were the wars Britain were fighting in the Middle East, in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Iraq war was divisive from the beginning and its repercussions are still being felt now something the film kind of ignored, given that this was a motive for the bombers however misguided. Terrorist attacks in the UK is not new in my lifetime. I grew up in an era of IRA bombings in the mainland. Dramas relating to Irish terrorism on British television went from how evil these people are to more neutral tones to even injustices committed to the republican communities such as wrongly convicted bombers. These things might not be in the book but the context was lacking which hurt the drama.
Jenny's father is absent from key parts of the events. I later found out that this was the same in the book, I just felt it was all part to keep Emily Watson centre stage. The drama should had dealt with this aspect better as well.
So a flawed drama which I felt was lacking in a stronger story which pains me given the tragic events of this true poignant story.
Julie Nicholson has since left the priesthood as she could not forgive the bombers and felt that this was incompatible with her vocation as a priest. She has also divorced her husband.