Second best is a touching and moving masterpiece directed by Chris Menges . The plot reminded me of another great British movie – “Dear Frankie “.I guess it is that father – son relationship that makes movies like these two so special. The loyalty of the son both in the characters of Jimmy played by Nathan Yapp and Graham Holt (William Hurt) is touching and I am not ashamed to admit that there were moments of this movie which truly brought tears to my eyes.
One other reviewer wrote:
“Chris Cleary Miles’ apparently initial screen performance as the troubled youth is near amazing.”
And I just couldn’t agree more with that – the acting of Chris Cleary Miles, William Hurt and for that matter all the other actors in this movie is first class – their gestures, the words they say , the way they say them – you just have to watch it to experience the movie – because that is what you are going to get an unforgettable experience.
The flashbacks moments (the memories of the little Jimmy) were very careful chosen and I felt really weird watching them , knowing that there is something more hidden out there– this feeling stayed with me until the final scenes in which these flashbacks became more revealing …
There also a lot of symbolism is Second Best –the scene in which the boy looks at the man who wants to adopt him trough a broken window is just one example and if you watch it more than once you will sure notice many other symbols – the letter, the scars … etc
You just couldn’t watch the movie without noticing how much the music contributes to it – piano or guitars, it fits the scenes really good – making the emotional impact they have on the viewer’s powerful and overwhelming.