Summer in February

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Summer in February
Summer in February poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Christopher Menaul
Produced by
  • Jeremy Cowdrey
  • Pippa Cross
  • Janette Day
Screenplay by Jonathan Smith
Based on Summer in February 
by Jonathan Smith
Music by Benjamin Wallfisch
Cinematography Andrew Dunn
Edited by
  • Chris Gill
  • St. John O'Rorke
  • CrossDay Productions Ltd.
  • Apart Films
  • Marwood Pictures
Distributed by Metrodome Distribution
Running time 100 minutes[1]
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Box office £74,898

Summer in February is a 2013 British romantic drama film directed by Christopher Menaul. Novelist Jonathan Smith adapted the screenplay from his 1995 eponymous novel. The film stars Dominic Cooper, Emily Browning, Dan Stevens, Hattie Morahan and Nicholas Farrell and focuses on the early 20th century love triangle between British artist Alfred Munnings, his friend Gilbert Evans and Florence Carter-Wood. It was released in the United Kingdom on 14 June 2013.[1]


Set in Cornwall in the early 20th century, Summer in February focuses on a group of Bohemian artists called the Lamorna Group, which include Alfred Munnings (Dominic Cooper), Laura Knight (Hattie Morahan) and Harold Knight (Shaun Dingwall). The group is at the centre of the real life love triangle between Alfred, his friend Gilbert Evans (Dan Stevens) and the girl they both loved, Florence Carter-Wood (Emily Browning).[2]



Summer in February was shot during January and February 2012.[3] The cast and crew spent four weeks filming in Cornwall from 15 January. Shooting locations included Penzance, Lamorna and Prussia Cove.[4][5] National Trust beaches Holywell and Porthcurno provided "a dramatic setting" for a horse-race sequence and a beach party scene respectively.[5] Producer Jeremy Cowdrey explained "We could have filmed it anywhere in the world but we were determined to do it here, where it all happened. It's a true story and, because it's about a Bohemian artists' colony, the exciting thing is to recreate it, splash Cornwall and bring the county alive."[4]


In September 2012, Rick Schultz from The Jewish Journal revealed that English composer and conductor Benjamin Wallfisch would be composing the musical score of the film.[6] Wallfisch had not read the novel prior to being asked to score the film.[7] Speaking to Classic FM's Sam Pittis Wallfisch said that it was clear to him from the start that the score had to be something emotional and thematic. He also wanted to capture the beauty of the location where the film is set and tell stories through the music.[7]

The score is played by the London Chamber Orchestra and features piano solos by Yuja Wang.[8] Wallfisch thought Wang would be perfect to play on the score and he approached her with some of the pieces he had composed.[7] Wang agreed to come aboard and during the recording sessions, Wallfisch was so impressed with her playing that he wrote her a solo piano suite of all the main themes.[7] The score to Summer in February was released by Decca Records in the UK on 24 June 2013.[9]

The track listing for the album is as follows:[8]


Box office[edit]

Summer in February entered the box office chart at number 11 after grossing £74,898 in its opening weekend for a per-cinema average of £1,170 in 64 cinemas.[10]

Critical response[edit]

Summer in February has received mostly negative reviews from critics. Film review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes classified the film as "rotten" with a 48 percent approval rating among 21 reviews, with a rating average of 5.1 out of 10.[11] Stella Papamichael from Digital Spy gave the film three out of five stars and commented "The film itself is no masterwork, but it has a certain irresistible undertow."[12] Papamichael thought that Menaul and Smith seemed unsure when it came to the scenes in between documented incidents and called the dialogue "serviceable".[12] Anna Smith, writing for Empire, also awarded the film three stars and she stated "While the melodrama occasionally grates, this works as a raw romance and an intriguing glimpse of a bold and brash artist ahead of his time."[13] Total Film's Tom Dawson gave Summer in February a mixed review, saying "Though it struggles to transcend its Sunday-TV feel, Christopher Menaul's film boasts sturdy turns from its three leads, while the outdoor lensing is a breath of fresh air."[14]

Chris Tookey from the Daily Mail gave the film one star and opined Summer in February as "a plodding, sub-Merchant Ivory costume drama, not terribly convincing even though it's based on a true story, about a romantic triangle in Edwardian Cornwall"[15] Michael Hann from The Guardian writes "Proof that truth is duller than fiction comes with this tale of real events in the Lamorna artists' colony in Cornwall in the months before the first world war."[16] He also thought Browning's role was underwritten.[16] During her review, Tara Brady from The Irish Times, thought the film was like "Downton Abbey stripped of charm and lobotomised."[17] The Independent's Anthony Quinn felt that the film "struggles to rise above the blandness of a Sunday teatime serial,",[18] where "sudden bursts of drama fizzle like damp fireworks".[18] Derek Malcolm from the London Evening Standard lamented that the film "seems to be much ado about nothing very much, despite the pleasing performances and scenery,"[19] jibing that his father's "painted horse, if only he could speak, could probably tell [him] more about Munnings the artist than Summer in February does."[19]


  1. ^ a b "Summer in February (2013)". British Board of Film Classification. 4 June 2013. Retrieved 12 June 2013. 
  2. ^ Cooper, Sarah (2 August 2012). "Summer In February". Screen Daily. Retrieved 11 April 2013. 
  3. ^ Barrie, Josh (9 June 2013). "Penzance's Savoy Cinema hosts premiere of romantic drama Summer in February". The Cornishman. Retrieved 14 June 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Story will be filmed in the place where it all happened". The Cornishman. 12 January 2012. Retrieved 14 June 2013. 
  5. ^ a b O’Connor, Joanne (14 June 2013). "On location: Summer in February". Financial Times. Retrieved 14 June 2013. 
  6. ^ Schultz, Rick (10 September 2012). "Benjamin Wallfisch has music in his genes". The Jewish Journal. Retrieved 14 June 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c d "Benjamin Wallfisch talks Summer in February and learning from the masters". Classic FM. Global Group. 22 July 2013. Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  8. ^ a b "Summer in February Original Motion Picture Soundtrack". Deutsche Grammophon. Retrieved 14 June 2013. 
  9. ^ "'Summer in February' Soundtrack Announced". Film Music Reporter. 8 June 2013. Retrieved 14 June 2013. 
  10. ^ "Weekend 14 June–16 June 2013 UK box office". British Film Institute. Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  11. ^ "Summer in February (2013)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 21 June 2013. 
  12. ^ a b Papamichael, Stella (11 June 2013). "Summer in February review: Dan Stevens, Dominic Cooper in period drama". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 12 June 2013. 
  13. ^ Smith, Anna (9 June 2013). "Summer In February". Empire. Retrieved 12 June 2013. 
  14. ^ Dawson, Tom (10 June 2013). "Summer In February". Total Film. Retrieved 12 June 2013. 
  15. ^ Tookey, Chris (14 June 2013). "Downton Dan's affair to forget: Summer in February is plodding and not terribly convincing despite being based on a true story". Daily Mail. Retrieved 14 June 2013.  although his colleague on the paper, Bel Mooney wrote that she loved it
  16. ^ a b Hann, Michael (13 June 2013). "Summer in February – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 June 2013. 
  17. ^ Brady, Tara (14 June 2013). "Summer in February". The Irish Times. Retrieved 14 June 2013. 
  18. ^ a b Quinn, Anthony (14 June 2013). "Film review: Summer in February - This love triangle featuring Dan Stevens and Dominic Cooper fizzles rather than sizzles". The Independent. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  19. ^ a b Malcolm, Derek (14 June 2013). "Summer in February - film review". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 

External links[edit]