Ethel & Ernest

Roger Mainwood

United Kingdom, Luxembourg, 2016 / 94 min / English OV with FR subtitles / Animation, Comed, Drama

The life and times of two ordinary people living through extraordinary events and immense social change. 

Entertaining and heart-warming, “Ethel and Ernest” portrays the life and times of two ordinary people living through extraordinary events and immense social change. Ethel and Ernest meet in 1928, fall in love, marry, settle in the quiet London suburb of Wimbledon Park and raise a son. The film spans their lives through the Depression, the Second World War, post-war austerity and the swinging 1960s. Portraying plain people speaking plain words, the film stays true to Raymond Briggs’ intimate, engaging and affectionate tribute to his parents. (BBC)

Based on the award-winning book by acclaimed British author and illustrator Raymond Briggs, this hand drawn animated feature film is a marvellous, life-enhancing story for all ages.

Sat 04/03 19:00 Ciné Utopia EN OV with FR sub. Public

“Mainwood faithfully reproduces the colours and textures of Briggs’s book – the faded quality of the greens and browns, quaintly suggestive of a make-do-and-mend mentality that couldn’t afford brighter hues. It’s a whole history of mid-20th-century, lower-middle-class life in England, even while it remains squarely rooted to one spot: the family home the Briggses never left.” Tim Robey, Telegraph, 27/10/16

“Ethel and Ernest are undemonstrative sorts who accept misfortune with stoicism and don’t show off about it when luck is on their side. The animation is as unfussy as they are. There are no Pixar-like flights of fantasy here and the faces of the characters remain unchanging whatever confronts them. Even so, in its own understated way, the film is deeply moving.” Geoffrey Macnab, Independent, 26/10/2016

“One way to explain what the film is like to non-British viewers who aren’t familiar with Briggs’ oeuvre is to say it’s like that five minutes in Pixar’s Up that summarizes the entirety of Carl and Ellie’s marriage, but spun out over feature-length, but with hardly any loss of emotional heft.” Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter, 14/10/2016

“a feature animation that exactly reproduces the detail and the simplicity of (Briggs’s) hand-drawn style. It is gentle and charming, with an unbearably moving ending (…) It’s a tender story about the lost world of what we now call the “white working class”: a low-tempo version of David Lean’s This Happy Breed, or maybe a happier, sunnier version of similar stories from Terence Davies or Dennis Potter.” Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian, 27/10/2016

Cast & Credits
Jim Broadbent, Pam Ferris, Luke Treadaway, Brenda Blethyn, Roger Allam
Roger Mainwood, based on the award-winning book by acclaimed British author and illustrator Raymond Briggs
Peter Dodd, Gilles Rudziak, Laurence Gavroy, Denis Lambert
Antony Bayman, Karolina Dziwinska, Kasper Pedersen, Julien Pirrie, Peter Warnock
Pascal Gérard
Carl Davis, Paul McCartney (Chamber Orchestra of London)
Cloth Cat Animation, Ethel & Ernest Productions, Lupus Films, Melusine Productions / Studio 352
Studio 352 (Rightsholder)

Roger Mainwood is one of the UK’s leading animation directors. He gained his experience at the London Animation Studio TVC, where he worked on most of their award-winning films, from Raymond Briggs’s classics “The Snowman” to “Father Christmas” via “When the Wind Blows”. He has also directed episodes of the comedy series “Stressed Eric” for the BBC, and more recently the pre-school series “Meg and Mog” which was nominated for Children’s BAFTAs.

  • 2016 - Ethel & Ernest
  • 2003-2004 - Meg and Mog (TV series)
  • 2000 - Stressed Eric (TV series)
  • 1993-1995 - The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends (TV series)