The Long Day Closes (1992)

long day closes poster 1992 movie
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 9/10

Good looking, good cast

Not story based

Movie Info

Movie Name:   The Long Day Closes

Studio:   British Film Institute

Genre(s):   Drama

Release Date(s):   May 22, 1992

MPAA Rating:   PG

long day closes mother marjorie yates leigh mccormack

A boy’s best friend is his mother…

Growing up in Liverpool in the 1950s, Bud (Leigh McCormack) finds his life lonely and enjoys the escapes of songs and the movies. The movies and music help Bud forget about the life he is trying to avoid. Doted on by his mother (Marjorie Yates) and spending time with his family, Bud finds few friends and multiple attackers who see him as an outsider and different than most of the boys at his school. Bud is looking for his place in life and is learning growing up can be difficult.

Directed by Terence Davies, The Long Day Closes is a period drama. The film is loosely autobiographical and is considered the final part of Davies’ trilogy of films about his life made up of The Terence Davies Trilogy (1984) and Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988). The film was critically acclaimed and the Criterion Collection released a remastered version of the film (Criterion #694).

long day closes swimming pool leigh mccormack

Got to love gym class….

Criterion generally picks solid films and sometimes I’ll look through Criterion’s titles and randomly pick one to watch. The Long Day Closes was one of those choices. The strange ethereal storytelling might not have been plot driven but it was emotion driven.

The story just seems to float along. Days pass, the characters don’t really grow or change, and live continues on. It is a much more real approach to a story because life often isn’t filled with film like “big moments” where people realize things like characters in a book. Bud seems to know he’s different and that he can’t change it…he just wants to endure it.

Leigh McCormack brings a lot of heart and joy to the role. His wide-eyed nature holds the movie together despite the fact that the plot is intentionally thin. Day-to-day life needs a day-to-day kid and he seems like a good choice. His mother played by Marjorie Yates also seems like the type of mother everyone would want…but also realizes her son is different. I also commend the casting of the schoolmates and bullies who feel real as well. Bullies aren’t often the biggest and scariest guys in the class which is the ironic thing.

long day closes leigh mccormack ending

Time moves on…

Visually the movie is smooth and pretty. Like the story the camera just seems to drift through scenes and one scene transitions to the next. It is a rather relaxing movie in that sense and feels like a sliver of life as a result.

The Long Day Closes isn’t plot driven nor is it a visual spectacular. Instead, it is a nice period piece for a kid struggling with life. This doesn’t mean he’s going to turn into a serial killer and it doesn’t mean that he’s miserable every day. It means that life can sometimes be hard and sometimes it can be beautiful. The Long Day Closes feels like a good capturing of that aspect of growing up.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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