Plots with a View
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|Plots with a View (Undertaking Betty)|
|Directed by||Nick Hurran|
|Produced by||Michael Cowan|
|Written by||Frederick Ponzlov|
|Music by||Rupert Gregson-Williams|
|Edited by||John Richards|
|Distributed by||Buena Vista International|
Plots with a View, released internationally as Undertaking Betty, is a 2002 British dark comedy written by Frederick Ponzlov, directed by Nick Hurran, starring Brenda Blethyn, Robert Pugh, Alfred Molina, Naomi Watts, Lee Evans and Christopher Walken. The film began filming in Caldicot, Monmouthshire, Wales in 2002, and was released in the U.S. on 12 November 2005, with a DVD release on 7 March 2006.
Boris Plots is director of Plots Funeral Home in the fictional Welsh village of Wrottin Powys. His rival Frank Featherbed, an American, is determined to revolutionise the undertaking business in Britain through the innovation of "themed funerals". Boris Plots dreamed of only two things as a young boy: dancing and Betty Rhys-Jones. Betty secretly loved Boris, but could not fight her father's wishes, so she was married off to a gold digger. Boris gave up his dreams and took over the family's undertaking business. When Betty's mother-in-law dies, Boris and Betty are thrust together again and as they discuss the funeral arrangements for Betty's mother-in-law, the old spark is rekindled. Boris discovers that the only obstacle between their love for one another is her marriage to the adulterous Councilor Hugh Rhys-Jones. In a desperate bid for happiness Boris and Betty decide to stage her death and run away together.
- Brenda Blethyn as Betty Rhys-Jones
- Robert Pugh as Hugh Rhys-Jones
- Alfred Molina as Boris Plots
- Naomi Watts as Meredith Mainwaring
- Lee Evans as Delbert Butterfield
- Christopher Walken as Frank Featherbed
The 2002 Variety review noted its "near-miraculous balance between the silly and the morbid" and referred to it as "enjoyable and entertainingly cast" even though it was "unlikely to bury the competition". In 2005, the Los Angeles Times described it as succeeding in sustaining its "deliberate silliness" though it might work better for home viewing than in theatres, and described its cast as "first rate." DVD Talk was less enthusiastic: "though kind of a mess, and not really all that funny, Undertaking Betty still feels barely recommendable, thanks to a colorful cast of true characters." Reel Film gave it 3 of 4 stars, and described it as "charming, low-key romantic comedy", and though there's "nothing especially groundbreaking or even memorable about Undertaking Betty, but the undeniably sweet vibe is ultimately quite difficult to resist."
The film was nominated for a Golden Hitchcock at the 2002 Dinard British Film Festival, and won a Cymru Award at the 2003 BAFTA Awards, Wales.
- Nesselson, Lisa (November 7, 2002). "Plots With a View (U.K.)". Variety.
- Crust, Kevin (November 11, 2005). "Undertaking Betty". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2006-03-18.
- Weinberg, Scott (March 29, 2006). "Undertaking Betty". DVDTalk.com.
- "Buena Vista's March '06 Releases - Undertaking Betty (March 15/06)". ReelFilm.com. March 15, 2006.