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Together With Sarah Coomes is a Joy

For all of the hustle and studying actors do, sometimes the universe extends its arms and offers an unexpected gift. For Sarah Coomes this occurred when director Paul Duddridge offered her a role sans audition in his film Together. Duddridge was as much a fan of the actresses’ work as she was of his; the serendipitous timing of her visit to London and the role’s improvisational nature made it intuitive. Her costars included many of the famed actors Sarah had grown up watching, making her acceptance of this role even more unquestionable. By conceding to “what if”, Coomes contributed a remarkable character to this multiple award-nominated film.

Romance is just as appropriate for those over seventy as for the twenty-something crowd, perhaps even more so. In Together, an elderly couple is preparing to share the adventure of retirement when circumstances derail their dream. Philip Twain and his wife Rosemary (played prospectively by Peter Bowles and Sylvia Simms - three time BAFTA Film Award-nominated actress known for her work in the Oscar winning film The Queen) find that a routine hospital visit has resulted in a well-intended system separating them. With six decades of commitment and love uniting them, the couple takes matters into their own hands to reunite themselves. As Anjelica Neil, lawyer for Philip Twain, Coomes is the tool by which they hope to achieve this reunion.

One need look no further than Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mocking Bird” to see the female insight into the courtroom. The iconic book and triple Oscar-winning film gives great attention to body language in legal debates. Sarah confirms that she focused on this aspect in her presentation of Anjelica. The actress relates, “There’s a specific feeling about a female lawyer, a woman in a man’s world, that creates an instant feeling of calm. Women are clever and detailed oriented. Because speech or discussion can be limited, body language is incredibly important. With the body language details in mind, I thought a lot about what kind of animal my character would be. I always use animals when creating characters.” There’s a great deal to the unspoken and the confident movements Phillip Twain’s lawyer displays in some of the most emotional scenes of this film. Ms. Neil is a protector who plays a nonverbal game of chess which maneuvers the emotions of the other characters in the courtroom, yet is immensely compassionate when assisting her client outside those walls.

Director Paul Duddridge has a well-earned reputation as something of a Maverick; resulting in both an uneasiness among his cast and some spectacular performances. While Coomes did her due diligence in formulating the physicality of her character, there was an expected X-factor during filming. The actress notes, “It was certainly one of those shoots which was very ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ but it worked! That’s what so brilliant about the writer/director Paul; he’s really able just jump in, pull everything together and keep working on the script and performances until they’re right. Many of the other actors were very famous television actors when I was growing up, and are simply brilliant at what they do. When you get to work with incredible actors like Sylvia Syms, it’s a remarkable experience. She’s a wonderful actor and person; very inspiring.”

Author: Patrick Wilson
Together With Sarah Coomes is a Joy Reviewed by JaamZIN on 8:39:00 PM Rating: 5
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