Under Milk Wood (2015 film)

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Under Milk Wood
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Kevin Allen
Written by Kevin Allen
Dylan Thomas
Starring Rhys Ifans
Release date
  • 20 June 2015 (2015-06-20) (EIFF)
  • 30 October 2015 (2015-10-30) (UK)
Running time
87 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language Welsh

Under Milk Wood (Welsh version: Dan y Wenallt) is a 2015 Welsh drama film adapted from the play by Dylan Thomas, directed by Kevin Allen, narrated by and starring Rhys Ifans. The film was selected as the British entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards but it was not nominated.


The 2015 production of Under Milk Wood (starring Rhys Ifans and Charlotte Church) was the first film adaptation of the play since the 1972 film (which starred Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton).[1] The new version was filmed largely in the Pembrokeshire village of Solva during the Summer of 2014.[2] Two versions of the film were shot, one in English and the other in Welsh (known as Dan y Wenallt). Dan y Wenallt was put forward for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2016 Oscars.[1][3][4][5]

The film was first shown simultaneously in Cardiff and Theatr Gwaun in the Pembrokeshire town of Fishguard, before being shown around Wales in December 2014 as part of the centenary celebrations of Thomas's birth.[6] It received its official UK premiere in June 2015 at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.[7]


Critical reception[edit]

The Independent in its review of the film says it "shows tremendous visual imagination in places and has plenty of ghoulishness, scabrous humour and eroticism along the way" and "doesn't hold back on depicting the grotesquerie of the Wales that Dylan Thomas evoked".[8] Rhys Ifans' "delivery is calmer and more measured than Burton's mercurial, intensely dramatic rendition" and just about holds together the "dozens of surrealistic tableau-like scenes". It gives the film three out of five stars.[8]

The Mirror also gave the film three out of five stars, though describing it as a "noble failure" where the director "deploys no end of visual tricks to match Thomas’s lyricism – a glaring palette, soft focusing and even a camera seemingly mounted on the back of a mouse – but the tricks distract as much as they divert".[9]

Variety magazine pointed out the humour of the original play had not aged well, the performances of the cast were "obscured by the film’s florid visual style and fruity versification", while the Welsh cast and Welsh language version would have "limited appeal outside Wales" and "minor status as a local curiosity".[10]

Screen Daily described the film as a "sticky mess of sexual urges and intrigue, ...which clouds Thomas’ work rather than clarifies it" with the visual component "frequently distracting and sometimes outright unpleasant".[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Hannah Jones (11 October 2015). "The Welsh film based on Under Milk Wood going for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars". Wales Online. Retrieved 28 May 2018. 
  2. ^ "Solva taken over for Under Milkwood filming". BBC News. 23 June 2014. Retrieved 29 November 2015. 
  3. ^ "Under Milk Wood: Rhys Ifans calls film a 'joyous tirade'". BBC News. 30 October 2015. Retrieved 29 November 2015. 
  4. ^ "81 Countries In Competition For 2015 Foreign Language Film Oscar". AMPAS. 9 October 2015. Retrieved 9 October 2015. 
  5. ^ "Under Milk Wood entered for Best Foreign Language Oscar". The Telegraph. 10 October 2015. Retrieved 10 October 2015. 
  6. ^ "Movie filmed in Solva submitted for Oscars". County Echo. Pembrokeshire. 12 October 2015. Retrieved 28 May 2018. 
  7. ^ a b Wendy Ide (27 October 2015). "'Under Milk Wood': Review". Screen Daily. Retrieved 28 May 2018. 
  8. ^ a b Geoffrey Macnab (29 October 2015). "Under Milk Wood, film review: Snobbery and spanking in rural Wales". The Independent. Retrieved 29 November 2015. 
  9. ^ David Edwards (30 October 2015). "Under Milk Wood - review: Audacious adaptation of Dylan Thomas classic is a noble failure". The Mirror. Retrieved 29 November 2015. 
  10. ^ Catherine Bray (14 December 2015). "Film Review: 'Under Milk Wood'". Variety. Retrieved 28 May 2018. 

External links[edit]