FEATURE: Plenty

November 22, 1985
UNITED KINGDOM
  1. Feature Film

Soundbites

Sting on 'Plenty'

Plenty, is the best work I've done. It's the first chance I've had on screen to show a weak or sympathetic side."
GQ, 9/85

Backgrounder

Sting plays the would be surrogate father of Meryl Streep's unborn child in 'Plenty' (1985). Adapted from the stage play by David Hare (who also wrote the screenplay), 'Plenty' follows Streep's Susan Traherne, an Englishwoman unable to recapture the passion and vitality she experienced as a resistance supporter in World War II France.

The film is set in the years that follow the war as her life becomes increasingly consumed by loveless despair and empty materialism. Streep gives a wistful and nuanced performance as a character whose deterioration in many ways mirrors the post-war decline of the British empire. Recruited by Susan to father her children is working class Mick. Showing a vulnerability rarely seen through his Police frontman's facade, Sting's Mick finds his blossoming love for Susan unrequited following eighteen months of fruitless dalliances. Although Mick is unable to break through the class barrier separating him from Susan, their affair nonetheless gives rise to Sting's first onscreen love scene, which unfolds as the ceremonial blare of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth resounds outside the bedroom window.

Directed by Fred Schepisi who also teamed with Streep in 'A Cry In The Dark', 'Plenty's' eclectic cast features Sam Neill ('The Piano') as a parachuting English spy who's single night of idealistic passion with Susan during the war lingers in her mind throughout the film, the lively British comedienne, Tracy Ullman, as a carefree friend who's vivacity offers a contrast to Susan's self-debilitating despair, and the always distinguished Sir John Gielgud, as an English diplomat named Sir Leornard Darwin.
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