Ali’s marriage has disintegrated. His wife has outgrown him intellectually and he finds himself bonding with Ava over their shared affection for Sofia, the child of Ali’s Slovakian tenants, whom Ava teaches. There’s a tremendous human warmth to this love story from writer-director Clio Barnard, a social-realist tale that you might compare to Ken Loach’s Ae Fond Kiss.
It’s a drama of autumnal love conquering the divisions of race, the disillusionments of middle age, the discomfort of parenthood and grandparenthood, and the tensions of class.
This could have lurched into heavy-handed melodrama, instead we find something more nuanced, humane and lyrical.