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"Ordinary Love" - Film - Speaking with directors Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn

by Emilia Ippolito

In spite of the absence of relevant talents, the 63rd edition of the BFI Film Festival has offered an international audience in London a very interesting and broad program this year.
One of the most appealing films is certainly Ordinary Love. Directed by Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn, starring Liam Neeson and Lesley Manville, this insightful feature portrays a married couple facing Lesley’s long term and maybe fatal illness.
Both script and visual concentrate on unusually humorous couple dynamic before Lesley is diagnosed with cancer and a non-sentimental way of facing it.
Both self-grounded, the couple faces it with extraordinary strength and courage, showing a deep affection and reciprocal support.
At the Festival, Lisa Barros D’Sa told us: “We tried to focus on life, simply: we don’t really have a different register to face tragic occurrences - illness, death; we go through those in the same way as we load a dishwasher ... so we meant to focus on what matters: strength, union, support, deep affection”.
EI: “The film has an open end- was that intentional since the beginning?”
GL: “We didn’t want to focus on the final consequences of the illness, but rather on different ways of facing it”.
EI: “How was it to work with Neeson and Manville in a less Hollywood-like role?”
GL: “It was great to work with both - easy to work with, they both liked to relax off set”.

EI: Shall we believe some rumours about Liam Neeson being a little difficult to work with at times and improvising a lot?
LDS: Not really, I don't think so. He was very nice and 'manageable'...
EI: What about improvisation?
LDS: Well, yes he did improvise, but all 'stars' do, don't they? It didn't disrupt either scripts or story, so we were fine with that.

EI: What's your next project?
GL: We are thinking of a story set in Northern Ireland; it's a culture I've always been interested in, and worth portraying. We are currently working on the storyline

I would definitely recommend this story of ordinary life, portrayed in a way which is anything but ordinary.


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