GenreDrama Music directorMichael Kamen CountryUnited Kingdom
Release dateDecember 24, 1997 WriterJosep Llurba (translation and adaptation), Sharman Macdonald (play), Sharman Macdonald (screenplay), Alan Rickman CastEmma Thompson (Frances), Phyllida Law (Elspeth), Sheila Reid (Lily), Sandra Voe (Chloe), Arlene Cockburn (Nita), Gary Hollywood (Alex) Similar moviesFish Tank, Factory Girl, The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things, Jupiter Ascending, At the Edge of the Abyss, The Last Witch Hunter
The winter guest trailer
Its winter in a small Scottish village near the sea, and multiple lives intersect in a day. Frances (Emma Thompson) has just lost her husband to an early death, so her mother, Elspeth (Phyllida Law), travels to Frances house to reconnect with her daughter and grandson, Alex (Gary Hollywood). Meanwhile, old women Chloe (Sandra Voe) and Lily (Sheila Reid) go to a funeral, youngsters Sam (Douglas Murphy) and Tom (Sean Biggerstaff) cut class, and Alex gets a crush on tomboy Nita (Arlene Cockburn).
The Winter Guest is a 1997 film directed by Alan Rickman in his debut as a director, which stars Phyllida Law and Emma Thompson.
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.
Set in Scotland on one wintry day, the film focuses on eight 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 attend strangers funerals, Chloe (Sandra Voe) and Lily (Sheila Reid); and two teenagers Nita (Arlene Cockburn) and Alex (Gary Hollywood). The film consists primarily of the interactions between the characters.
The film is based on Sharman MacDonalds play, premiered at the West Yorkshire Playhouse (in the Quarry studio theatre, 23 January to 18 February 1995) before transferring to the Almeida Theatre in London (14 March to 15 April 1995).
Like the film it was also directed by Rickman, starring Law, Reid, Voe and John Wark, with Sian Thomas in the role of Frances, played in the film by Emma Thompson.
The film was met warmly by critics, with Thompson winning an award at the Venice Film Festival. But it was "Robin Dons remarkable set ... that grabs you before anything else" (Michael Billington in The Guardian, 25 January 1995): a house interior, promenade and snowbound seascape, which won Don the Design award in the Critics Circle Theatre Awards in 1995.
Emma Thompson appears in The Winter Guest and The Remains of the Day. Emma Thompson appears in The Winter Guest and Howards End. Last Orders (2001). A Way of Life (2004). Phyllida Law appears in The Winter Guest and Blinded.
Awards and nominations
British Independent Film Awards (UK)
Nominated: Best British Actress (Emma Thompson)
Brussels International Film Festival (Belgium)
Won: Audience Award (Alan Rickman)
Chicago Film Festival (USA)
Won: Gold Hugo – Best Film (Alan Rickman)
Czech Lion (Czech Republic)
Nominated: Best Foreign Language Film (Alan Rickman)
European Film Awards
Nominated: Best Actress (Emma Thompson)
Venice Film Festival (Italy)
Won: CinemAvvenire Award (Alan Rickman; tied with A Ostra e o Vento and Giro di lune tra terra e mare).
Won: OCIC Award (Alan Rickman)
Won: Pasinetti Award – Best Actress (Emma Thompson)