The British certainly do ‘gentle comedy’ very well, creating movies that have the right ingredients of humour and pathos.
However, Finding Your Feet could easily have just been a film better hosted on an obscure TV channel if it weren’t for some really excellent acting and a deft touch by the director.
So a hearty pat on the back to all involved who steered this away from being a slushy, sentimental and obvious story.
It opens with Mike (John Sessions) at his home with friends and friendly gathered to celebrate his retirement.
As ever, his devoted wife Sandra (Imelda Staunton) is there at his side.
However, when she finds Mike and her best friend Pamela (Josie Lawrence) kissing in the garage her whole cosy and privileged world comes crashing down.
So she packs her bags and arrives on the doorstep of her sister Bif (Celia Imrie) who lives her rather Bohemian life on a rundown council estate.
A slightly unusual choice since she hadn’t seen her for ten years, while Sandra’a daughter would have seemed a far more sensible and easier option.
However, the class of cultures between the sisters is the main source of laughs and there are surprises and shocks for Sandra as she begins to appreciate what really matters, with help from Bif’s friends Charlie (Timothy Spall) and Jackie (Joanna Lumley) to name but a few.
Imelda Staunton is as brilliant as ever and there are great scenes with her and Spall.
Celia Imrie deservedly has a really meaty role so we can see just what a good actor she is, holding the whole plot together.
Director Richard Loncraine has a varied career, in charge of the 2004 film Wimbledon and also directing the 1982 Michael Palin film The Missionary, as well as documentaries and commercials.
In Finding Your Feet he guides the movie with a gentle touch, allowing the accomplished cast do their thing.
Overall, this is a very enjoyable and often emotional film, showing off just what strength in depth we have on the acting front.
Film details: Finding Your Feet (12A) 111mins
Director: Richard Loncraine
Starring: Joanna Lumley, Timothy Spall, Imelda Staunton
Screening courtesy of Horsham Capitol