Among Giants

  • 1998
  • 1 HR 36 MIN
  • R

A romantic triangle amidst electrical pylons -- what will the Brits think of next? World traveling rock climber and all-around free spirit Gerry (Rachel Griffiths) saunters into a community of climbers in Sheffield, where she meets middle-aged Ray (Pete Postlethwaite), who's separated from his wife and lives with younger climbing buddy Steven (James Thornton)....read more

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Reviewed by Sandra Contreras
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A romantic triangle amidst electrical pylons -- what will the Brits think of next? World traveling rock climber and all-around free spirit Gerry (Rachel Griffiths) saunters into a community of climbers in Sheffield, where she meets middle-aged Ray (Pete

Postlethwaite), who's separated from his wife and lives with younger climbing buddy Steven (James Thornton). Ray and his mates have been illegally contracted by the local electrical company to paint numerous electrical towers -- the titular giants -- on the rainy Yorkshire moors by the end of the

summer. Looking for a place to temporarily hang her hat, Gerry asks Ray for a job, and while the crew initially resents having a woman on the team, her fearlessness soon wins them over. Steven has eyes for Gerry, but she, on a whim, takes up with Ray instead. Ray's love and generosity make Gerry

think she can settle down, which sets the stage for Steven to feel betrayed by both. Griffiths, who's so compelling as a supporting player (MURIEL'S WEDDING, HILARY AND JACKIE) stumbles her way as a leading lady, though the problem may lie with the script. Screenwriter Simon Beaufoy (THE FULL

MONTY) has an outsider's affection for down-and-outers in gritty industrial settings. But though Griffiths has excelled in the past at playing somewhat unsympathetic characters, Gerry is needlessly opaque, especially by comparison with the more fully rounded Ray. And though Postlethwaite's

performance goes a long way toward redeeming some of the story's preciousness, the scene in which he and Griffiths gallivant naked in an abandoned power plant is a shameless attempt at lyricism that his body can't quite pull off. That said, viewers who flocked to films like WAKING NED DEVINE

should enjoy this gentle character drama, which features just enough enchanting scenery to make the trip worthwhile.

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