A post-Valentine’s Day sleeper about romance with a Hitchcockian twist, “Falling” is a story based on the real-life experience of the novelist Elizabeth Jane Howard. Howard was courageous in exposing her vulnerability in this absorbing story originally produced for British television and now available on Netflix.
Middle-aged novelist Daisy (Penelope Wilton, the fabulous classical actress of Downton Abbey and “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” fame), is heartbroken by her husband’s infidelity and subsequent dissolution of her marriage. Escaping to her remote country cottage to write and heal her wounds, Daisy soon becomes smitten by Henry (Michael Kitchen, “Foyle’s War”), a charming gardener who lives in a dilapidated barge near the canal facing her cottage. Despite the suspicions of her literary agent and other close friends, Daisy is in a fragile state and she allows Henry to stay in the house while she is in London. She gradually falls in love with him, even though his considerable caregiving makes her uneasy.
Penelope Wilton and Michael Kitchen are gifted actors and deliver intelligent, nuanced performances in a narrative that may otherwise be somewhat unbelievable. “Falling” is full of surprises, vacillating between mystery thriller and romance. Just a glimpse in a single scene can radically change your sympathy for a character. I loved it!