Locarno Review: Simon Bird’s Debut Film ‘Days of the Bagnold Summer’ is a Heartfelt, Twofold Coming-of-Age Tale

Laconic and moody, a Metallica t-shirt worn like a second skin, fifteen-year-old Daniel hobbles through his pastel-colored, chintzy home in a stretch of British suburbia like a black sheep in a Wes Anderson hallucination. He’s a few days away before his first-ever trip to the States, where his father moved with a new woman, with whom he expects his second child. A summer spent basking in the Florida sun is a far more alluring prospect than frittering it away with his best friend Ky and awkward, lonely mother Sue, but an intercontinental phone call is all it takes to make dreams crumble. As Daniel’s father tells his son that, regretfully, the trip is canceled, Sue is left to take up the pieces. Days of the Bagnold Summer, Simon Bird’s feature debut, is a chronicle of a failed journey, and of the far more intricate, tortuous one mother
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