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It’s 2008. Jean Delaware (Margot Leicester, Charles III) awakes suddenly in her hospital bed, startling the nurses in attendance. They’re right to be startled: Jean was admitted to the coma ward at St. Jacob’s general hospital in 1960. She hasn’t moved in 48 years.
At Jean’s request, the hospital contact Ernie Child (David Warner, The Omen), to let him know she’s awake. Ernie is a dusty old man running a dusty old pawnbroker’s, idling away his remaining hours steeped in memories, and regret. Who is he to Jean? Husband? Lover? Friend? Ernie visits the hospital and delivers to Jean a letter, which he wrote to her half a century previously. She reads it, and then Ernie asks her what she’d like him to do.
Shot over four days across London and the Essex estuary and entirely crowd-funded via a Kickstarter project, Blue Borsalino is a noir-flavoured, melancholy tale of loss; of time, of life, of the opportunity to make amends. What happened to Jean back in 1960?
Why has she been comatose for almost fifty years, and why has this incident effectively placed Ernie’s life in stasis as well? I shall not say, but writer/director Mark Lobatto allows us to witness the event in fragmented backstory where Ernie and Jean, played with such pathos and poignancy in their advancing years by heavyweights of TV, film and stage David Warner and Margot Leicester, are played with no less gravity but with evermore hope, belief and even a hint of fledgling romantic frisson by Bart Edwards (Peep Show) and Laura Dale (Lake Placid vs Anaconda).
Beautifully shot with a dreamlike quality and with a keen, painterly eye for detail, Blue Borsalino* will be available to all online “soon” according to the movie’s official Twitter feed and, as soon as it is, it’ll be well worth fifteen minutes of anybody’s time. Recommended.
*What is a blue Borsalino, anyway? Well, Borsalino is a fine old Italian hat manufacturing company, and they have been making quality headpieces for 160 years, such as the blue felt Fedora favoured by Ernie.