Daniel Mays is one of the best known faces in British TV and cinema. Tom Beard is the new kid on the block, the photographer-turned-director of Two For Joy, which gets its UK release this Friday, 28 September, after debuting at Edinburgh in the summer.
When your first feature has BFI backing, is produced by Sadie Frost and stars Samantha Morton, Billie Piper and Mays, describing him as lucky almost seems like an understatement. Beard prefers to describe it as “a surreal experience” but is under no illusions of the challenges that go with low-budget, independent film making in this country. His film depicts a family in crisis, one where the mother is profoundly depressed after the death of her husband and is being cared for by her eldest daughter. A brief seaside holiday, designed to provide respite, leads them to meet another family with a different set of problems.
Mays’ character is in charge of the caravan park where they all stay and, talking to Flickering Myth’s Freda Cooper, describes him as providing some levity in a sombre story, one with themes such as depression, bereavement and child carers, something that Beard strongly feels doesn’t receive enough recognition or support. As well as being behind the camera, he also wrote the screenplay, one that frequently leaves the audience to work things out for themselves, a style that particularly appealed to Mays when he was initially handed the script. For an actor last seen on the big screen in the comedy Swimming With Men, it’s a stark change of tone and subject.
Two For Joy is released in UK cinemas on Friday, 28 September. Read our review here.
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