Saturday 5 October 2013

"Folie à Deux: Madness Made of Two" (The Guardian 04/10/13)

Folie à Deux (uncertificated) 101 mins ***

Though it bears the unmistakable look of daytime-telly property porn, Kim Hopkins’ documentary offers an eccentric and thoroughly English rejoinder to last year’s The Queen of Versailles. In 2007, Helen Heraty and husband John Edwards moved into York’s historic Grays Court, staking their (sizeable) personal fortune on turning it into a hotel. Though the crunch is coming, the film’s focus remains somewhat narrow: with John away at work, we’re left pottering around the kitchen as Helen juggles seven kids with increasingly fraught calls from her accountant. It appears as though Hopkins might just be hanging the couple out to dry for past excesses – then this war of financial attrition takes a melancholy turn. Earlier, funnier confrontations counter Versailles’ faded glitz with twitching curtains, tetchy boundary disputes and plentiful bathos: just when you think the downturn can’t get any worse, somebody goes and tramps dog poo indoors. 

Folie à Deux is playing in selected cinemas.

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