Movie Review: Black Mountain Poets


Director: Jamie Adams

Writer: Jamie Adams

Stars: Alice Lowe, Dolly Wells

Verdict: Really good fun

DISCLAIMER: I did watch this film slightly pissed

What a charming film this is. I don’t want to call what I was going to initially, which was a ‘charming little film’ because I feel that’s laying a sort of childlike lack of ambition I don’t think this film deserves. 

Black Mountain Poets has a pretty out there premise, two criminal sisters steal a car, and then, pretending to be the two poet drivers, go to a first annual poetry convention and pretend to be poets. 

I’m going to give it to you straight I had a really good time with this film, it made me chuckle, chortle, and guffaw probably much to the annoyance of my flatmates. It has a very sharp, very witty script that I’m sure was mostly thrown out for very sharp, very witty improvisation. It’s written and directed by Jamie Adams, (A Wonderful Christmas TimeBenny & Jolene), who demonstrates a great sense for mixing intimacy, comedy, and drama. This is helped no end by the film’s two leads, Alice Lowe, (SightseersHot Fuzz), who might be my new favourite person after this, and Dolly Wells, (45 YearsBridget Jones’s Diary), they were friends before the shoot and it helps and shows. They share not only an intimacy but also a willingness to be completely bitchy to each other and they’re both a lot of fun on screen. They’re also both just very talented actresses, Lowe is clearly having a lot of fun with her role, but she’s playing it against a much more subdued, (it’s not like Lowe is all over the place but it is a much more exuberant role), Wells, who is also fantastic. There’s one scene with Wells against a fence just by herself that is quite incredible. 

The film is also helped by a strong supporting cast, some of whom include actual Welsh poets. Which in the end I think is emblematic of the film’s quirky charms. It’s the kind of film that was actually made in 5 days on the side of a mountain with two leads who know each other very well and actual welsh poets rounding out the cast. It feels really friendly, like you could stay in and watch Netflix with this movie. The film does have a biting, almost rude sense of humour at some points which causes a striking juxtaposition, but on the other it’s a sense of humour I’m actually quite fond of. 

So, if you have a sense of humour like me, then this is the perfect film to just sit in front the telly with a beer and a duvet with. It’s also just really funny. 


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