The Inbetweeners star Simon Bird's directorial debut is a funny, charming and wince-inducingly accurate adaptation of Joff Winterhart's graphic novel, with a soundtrack by Belle & Sebastian.
Days of the Bagnold Summer sweetly draws you into the wobbly relationship between well-intentioned single librarian Sue Bagnold and her black-clad teenage son Daniel, who'd rather listen to Metallica than his mother.
Daniel was meant to spend the summer in Florida visiting his dad, but is now stuck with Mum following the trip's cancellation.
The film boasts supporting turns by Rob Brydon and Alice Lowe, but belongs to its two leads. Long-suffering Sue is sympathetically portrayed by Monica Dolan, with Earl Cave's Daniel a suitably lank-haired, pale-skinned picture of adolescent metal-head angst.
★★★★ - Observer
"Funny, acerbic, yet surprisingly tender film"
"...aided by Lisa Owens’s excellently empathetic script, which is poignant and affecting."
"Monica Dolan is terrific as Sue Bagnold."
★★★★ - The Guardian
"Earl Cave and Monica Dolan are a delight in this charming comedy"
"thoroughly sweet-natured, charming and unassuming British film"
"[This film] creates a gently satisfying ending for its young hero and his stressed mum. There are terrifically judged supporting turns from Lowe, Brydon and Greig and lovely lead performances from Dolan and Cave."
“It's a strong directorial debut from Bird...there is a touch of John Hughes about the way he cares so much for the have-nots, capturing moments of desire and hope which are constantly fighting with feelings of inadequacy." - Cineuropa