The Film: Jude (Christopher Eccleston) is a hardworking mason who falls in love with similar-minded soul-mate Sue (Kate Winslet).
Why So Serious? Well for starters, Jude and Sue are cousins. Not the end of the world you say? How red is your neck exactly?
Jude is already married to another woman, who has deserted him. He is a lowly working class man, but dreams of becoming a scholar, and thinking himself free to do so, makes for the city.
Once there his hopes are constantly dashed by his status, and station in life.
Sue is unhappily married to a schoolteacher. The pair begin a relationship, which is frowned on out of wedlock.
They have children, and this further incites the disapproval of society around them. Jude loses job after job, and the pair are kicked out of their homes when landlords discover the nature of their relationship.
Jude and Sue are visited by a child from Jude’s first marriage, who he didn’t know existed. They welcome him into the home.
When he sees the trouble he and his siblings are causing their parents, he strangles Sue’s children with a box cord before committing suicide.
Sue suffers a crisis of guilt, and despite not loving her first husband, returns to him. Jude is tricked into re-marrying his first wife when drunk.
Attempting a last reconciliation with Sue, he seeks her out in the rain, which causes him to become seriously ill. He dies within a year.
Will It Make You Cry? Might not make you actually cry, but boy it’s depressing.
Will It Uplift You? The upper classes might sustain some glee at the suffering of a ‘lesser’ man.
Cynicism Score: 8 – All your dreams will be destroyed by an uncaring world, unless you do what you are told and never question the status quo.
Next: Requiem For A Dream