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Five Days (HBO Miniseries)
Five Days
HBO Miniseries
Actors: Ash Tandon, Philip Arditti, Kerry Condon, Shaun Dooley, Steve Evets
Directors: Otto Bathurst, Peter Hoar, Simon Curtis, Toby Haynes
Genres: Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
NR     2008     5hr 0min

A mother, Leanne, vanishes into thin air. Her children, abandoned in her car, also go missing. As police search for clues over three gut-wrenching months, the Leanne's husband and family learn that nobody's quite what they...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Ash Tandon, Philip Arditti, Kerry Condon, Shaun Dooley, Steve Evets
Directors: Otto Bathurst, Peter Hoar, Simon Curtis, Toby Haynes
Creators: Caroline Skinner, Hilary Salmon, Howard Ella, Gwyneth Hughes
Genres: Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Drama, Drama, Miniseries, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Hbo Home Video
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Miniseries
DVD Release Date: 03/11/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 5hr 0min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Worst Nightmare
Kevin Killian | San Francisco, CA United States | 01/28/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"FIVE DAYS is a slow moving but ultimately rewarding British miniseries that tells the story of a drawn-out policy inquiry through a different sort of dramatic lens. Each hourlong episode focuses on a different day of the case, the first two close together, the third a disconcertingly long time later, the fourth on a day when public interest in the case has nearly lapsed, and the fifth a year after the original police report. Screenwriter Gwyneth Hughes sets her tale in a British suburb, apparently normal on the outside, but inwardly torn by seething disputes, broken families, and long-simmering racial tensions. Beautiful Leanne Wellings seems to have it all, happiness with a handsome second husband, three beautiful children (two under eight years of age, and a teenaged girl), and a family heavily invested in community and heritage. When she stops her car on sn impulse to buy some flowers for her ailing grandfather, and leaves her two youngest in the car while she hops across the road, the tension begins right there. Somehow, you imagine, somebody is going to nab the kids right out of the car while Leanne is picking out flowers from the strange makeshift gypsy trailer parked in the "Lay-by" not fifty yards from a bustling expressway. But what happens, while shocking, is not what you would suppose!

Everything you thought about any of the characters in part one gets turned on its head by episodes two and three. The seeming closeness of Leanne's family is just an illusion, and the fact that Leanne's second husband Matt is black serves as a bombshell for revealing much about the prejudice lurking behind the white picket fences of modern day suburbia. David Oyelowo, whom we last saw in Kenneth Branagh's AS YOU LIKE IT and in THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND, has a field day playing embittered, passionate Matt, despised by his slutty stepdaughter Tanya and desired both by a socialminded neighbor and a policewoman drawn to him against her common sense and warnings by her superiors.

Leanne's mother and father are in their own private hell, too, as their gradual distrust of Matt builds up into a tremendous holocaust of hate and fear for the kids. Patrick Malahide and Penelope Wilton build up thoroughly detailed portraits of these two, written by Hughes as if by Edward Albee on a really scathing day, and when you see Wilton break down at a televised press conference, able to utter only syllables and gasps, you will be thinking of Artaud or Nijinsky, while Malahide does his own transformation scene later on in the series. But you know who steals the show, the unbelievably ribald and honest Janet McTeer as Detective Sergeant Amy Foster, a veteran cop who's been on the job far too long to have stayed 100 percent human. She's counting down the days to the retirement and her farewell speech is among the most remarkable pieces of acting you will ever witness.

FIVE DAYS is flawed--the directors seem to have forgotten really to keep the suspense going throughout the entire length of the show--and some characters wind up spinning their wheels in familiar kitchen sink postures of deep kitsch. In addition, you might suppose that the race issue finally becomes too complex for them to deal with, and they scurry away from it into an absurd solution lifted from an old Jean Claude Van Damme direct to video "movie," but don't let these minor flaws deter you from watching this sleeper all the way to the end.

Riveting HBO/BBC Miniseries... Young Mother Disappears in Br
dooby | 03/26/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Agree with all the previous reviews. This is an excellent and riveting miniseries from HBO/BBC. It centres around the mysterious disappearance of a young mother who stops to buy flowers at a roadside stand. Gripping performances all round from an ensemble cast.

The search for the missing woman takes almost 3 months. The five days of the title refers to five separate days when crucial events occur in the investigation. It's very good on the police procedural aspect. Something you seldom find on TV is the show's spotlight on ancillary units like the police's public relations and liaison departments.

Aside from the central mystery, what I found fascinating about it was how it manages to touch on other tangential topics - multi-racial marriages, problems in stepfamilies, multi-generational families and the sorry state of British institutions today. It's nice to see a show poke fun at the many sore points ailing modern Britain - the need for absolute political correctness, the over-abundance of CCTV cameras monitoring every aspect of people's daily lives, the sorry state of policing, the much derided "Community Support Officers", ("plastic police" whose main job is to issue ASBOs - warning letters for criminals caught committing crimes), the presence of increasing numbers of foreigners, the outsourcing of government jobs (a key suspect escapes while in the custody of a private security contractor) and the dreaded NHS (National Health Service) where patients are left out in the corridors of overflowing hospitals like casualties in some Third World country.

Spread over 5 hours and 5 episodes, it remains riveting until near the end. The final episode does tend to drag at points. I'm not all that keen on the ending - the resolution seems to be have been plucked out of thin air, without much preparatory basis. It lacked dramatic flair - there was no "A-ha!" moment. It seemed to be simply tacked on to give the investigation a conclusion. That's borne out by the writer Gwyneth Hughes, who admits that she wrote the script as the filming was going on and that she didn't know until the last, how the story would end and who she would choose to be the eventual baddie. Taken as a whole however, it was a fascinating miniseries which had me glued to the screen almost to the end.

The DVD is in 1.78:1 widescreen (anamorphic) - not 1.66:1 as advertised by Amazon. Beautifully clear, sharp and accurate picture. Comes with optional English and Spanish subtitles in case the accents present a challenge. The only extra is a 13-minute interview with writer Gwyneth Hughes. May not be quite perfect but certainly well worth watching."
...very good mini series.
Robert of Niagara | Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada | 03/09/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I saw this on TV...five days in a row.
The above reviewer does a good job in reviewing this film.
No need for another description of the series."
Great start, very slow ending
mimi | North Haven, CT United States | 09/06/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)

"I love BBC shows. I love how the Brits use normal looking actors and actresses not "hollywood pretties" and this mini series starts out great. The first 3 episodes move right along and keep you guessing. The last two, however, move through molasses and you can guess the ending. You don't really care at that point either, you just wish you had some of your time back."