‘Bagnold Summer’ works on multiple levels

Rick's Reviews

“Days of the Bagnold Summer” is a sweet tale of a mother and son. (Photo courtesy of Greenwich Entertainment)

A new sweet and charming coming-of-age film is a perfect way to spend some time at home with family and friends.

“Days of the Bagnold Summer” Grade 3 stars: The central focus of this effort from first-time director Simon Bird is how gangly 15-year-old Daniel Bagnold (Earl Cave) tries to endure a sleepy summer full of disappointments and hope while living in a British suburb. Cave’s performance would be enough to recommend tracking down this film being released on digital platforms.

The added bonus is an equally moving and endearing performance by Monica Dolan as Daniel’s mother, Sue. Her coming-of-middle-age story shows that emotional growth is not the lone property of youth.

Bird’s adaptation of the graphic novel runs as two parallel stories of equal value. There’s Daniel’s efforts to wrap his head around his father having a new family and how he’s feeling rejected. At the same time, Sue is struggling with being supportive of her often brooding son while finding her way as a divorced woman. Each feeds strength into the other.

There are no major epiphanies in “Days of the Bagnold Summer.” Its power comes from being so relatable. It is easy to connect with this tale of a mother and son who obviously love each other but are trying to get through the clutter of life to show exactly how they feel toward each other.

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