Picks and Pans Review: Look Back in Anger
Kenneth Branagh and recent Oscar winner Emma Thompson (Howards End), married in real life, play troubled spouses in this staging of John Osborne's 1956 play.
Branagh is Jimmy Porter, a volatile young man of working-class roots and artistic sensibilities. Trapped and restless in his dismal flat in the Midlands, he rants and rails against everything, though most of his bile is splashed onto his wife as a rebuke for her upper-class background and the unforgivably poor judgment she showed in marrying him.
Branagh is electric in a role long associated with Richard Burton. Thompson is alluring as the passive wife. Adapted for television from a 1989 London stage production, the play still has undeniable power nearly four decades and a quarter of a world away from its creation.