Masterpiece of British kitchen sink dramas with Tom Bell and Leslie Caron at their acting peaks and a superb supporting cast of British character actors.
Leslie Caron received her second Best Actress Oscar nomination for playing a French woman named Jane Fosset, who goes to London and decides to keep her out-of wedlock baby, instead of having an abortion. The subject matter was considered mature and risqué, because abortion was illegal at the time. She rents a room (L-Shaped) in a Notting Hill house populated by other lonely souls and social outcasts, such as Toby (Tom Bell), a writer who falls in love with her, but departs when he finds out she’s pregnant.
Many of the character types were new to films of the era, but have since become clichés: the understanding young black, the lesbian actress, and the prostitutes without golden hearts. Director Bryan Forbes brings his usual muted sensibilities to the project, resulting in a work that downplays the sensational aspects and emphasizes characterization. Surprisingly, while The L-Shaped Room was considered too "hot" for several corporate-owned American movie houses, it was an early arrival on 1960s TV, where it frequently ran uncut.
This film is part of:
Screening Diversity in the British Cinema
A Special Event at Chichester Cinema at New Park
In a few weeks we will screen three other films of the period which, in raising similar issues, tested and extended the boundaries drawn by the British Board of Film Censors: ‘Victim', ‘Sapphire' and ‘The Children's Hour’.
This event will include 2 talks ('Women in Hollywood' and 'Women in British Cinema') and conclude with a day-course on Saturday 4th March looking at the links between film, censorship and public opinion in the early ‘60s. It will include many relevant clips. We are delighted to welcome as our lead speaker Brian Robinson, who has spent 25 years on the staff of the British Film Institute - most recently as Communications Manager, Archive and Heritage - and since 2000 has programmed the BFI’s London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.
Click image below for the full season.