Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square


Year: 1984
Country: Great Britain
Run Time: 106 minutes


Born in Glasgow, filmmaker Bill Forsyth is the two-time winner of the Peter Sellers Comedy Award. He is internationally acclaimed for the off-beat, whimsical quality of his Jacques Tati-like humor; the British press call him the "Scottish Woody Allen." COMFORT AND JOY is Forsyth's 4th film, following "That Sinking Feeling," "Gregory's Girl" and "Local Hero," all small-scaled and unpretensious features that emphasize characters over plot. Even the "bad guys" in COMFORT AND JOY are appealing, though not as lovable as the hero, Alan "Dickie" Bird (Bill Paterson), an early-morning radio D.J. undergoing a mid-life crisis in his 30s. The film's opening sequence in a Glasgow department store on Xmas Eve is a surprise too hilarious to spoil - so let's skip to afterwards, when Bird's live-in-girlfriend, Maddy (Eleanor David) suddenly leaves him, casually apologizing for not having gotten around to telling him before. In his lonely flat that is now stripped bare by Maddy, a distraught Bird is consoled by a pal saying "Everything here now is 'you.'" Bird's attraction to a pretty ice cream vendor makes him become an unwilling mediator between Mafia-like, warring owners of fleets of ice cream vans. Forsyth spoofs olf Hollywood gangster movies, but his characters are pure Forsyth, portrayed by an impecable cast. Bill Paterson and Eleanor David are delightful discoveries.

"It's best to have an appreciation of the weird to appreciate the humor but it's Forsyth's best movie to date." -Roxanne T. Mueller, The Cleveland Plain Dealer.

COMFORT AND JOY is on Roxanne T. Mueller's llist of Ten Best Films of 1984.

Bill Forsyth

Davina Belling, Clive Parsons

Chris Menges

Michael Ellis

Principal Cast
Bill Paterson, Eleanor David, C.P. Grogan, Alex Norton

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