Stage and Cinema film and theatre reviews




picture - West Wittering AffairDVD Review

by Chad Menville

published December 31, 2007


The West Wittering Affair

released by Lifesize Entertainment


The West Wittering Affair is a smart British Comedy which skillfully mines the slippery slope that is casual sex and betrayal. When giving into libidinous curiosity, four main characters become stuck in the way of their own lives like branches in a current.


We begin with Jamie (Danny Scheinmann), a thirty-something average Joe who is invited to a seaside resort for the weekend by two of his female acquaintances, Kathy (Sarah Sutcliffe) and Natasha (Rebecca Cardinle). Jamie accepts each woman’s advances and subsequently and respectively beds them. Because this is so out of character for Jamie he visits a psychoanalyst, Greg (David Annen), who, upon hearing of the affair, realizes that his wife (Natasha) was one of the seductresses. What follows is in turns tragic, beguiling, and more than a little bit humorous.


Directed by David Scheinmann and based on a story by Danny Scheinmann and Sarah Sutcliffe, this is a film shot in a mere ten days, but over the course of three years. Without a script, what holds it together are its strong performances and profoundly insightful dialogue. For instance, when Greg intones to himself, "I’ve lost the plot," we can emphasize with his frazzled desperation. Stylistically the bear bones cinematography has a documentary feel that is organic and unmannered. Kathy’s video diary scenes relay a powerful candor - it is times like these when one begins to suspend disbelief and forget that this is a fairly unmapped fiction. Chronologically, the film jumps about to great effect thanks to Karoline Moser’s ingenious editing.


As the film’s second half progresses, the increasingly outlandish twists and turns gain momentum while decreasing the believability the director has to this point earnestly achieved. Jamie, Kathy, Natasha & Greg each in their own way attempt to make peace with the overlapping past while they concurrently risk dragging more innocent bystanders into their path. All of the while they hold fast to their deceptively simple aim ... closure.


chadmenville @


NOTE:  The West Wittering Affair is the winner of the Jury Prize at the Cinequest International Film Festival


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