British by the Grace of God is an intimate short set during the summer of the Brexit referendum in Scotland, focusing on Irene (Kate Dickie), a middle aged woman who has nothing but love and support to offer, but is often shunned for it. Be it her cold husband, her distant son or her judgemental friends, she struggles to find her place with any of them.
British by the Grace of God is a very tender and gentle film; it captures it’s small scale well and is beautifully crafted to be a slow and quiet piece. Kate Dickie is fantastic in the lead, and the film has such a gentle touch to it. It’s very well paced and feels completely ordinary, never once becoming convoluted or contrived and sticks to what it’s doing so well.
Having said that, I’m not entirely sure what I was supposed to take away from this film. There are some…Interesting moments, let’s say, that feel very out of place, and I’m wondering if it’s because the short length does it no favours. I’m not entirely certain of the relevance of the Brexit backdrop, nor if I understand what this film builds up to, or perhaps if it’s purposely vague.
Of course, I could just be missing something in what is otherwise a tender and emotional film that has an excellent lead performance and knows exactly what type of film it’s aiming to be, and nails it in it’s direction and editing. British by the Grace of God is great output from Sean Dunn, who is clearly a talented filmmaker, and we’d hope to see more from him in the future.