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The Cement Garden

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All anyone with memories of a lousy childhood needs to do to cheer up is watch director Andrew Birkin’s version of Ian McEwan’s novel. British teen siblings (Robertson and Gainsbourg) lose their dad and then their mum, burying her in a cement locker in the basement so that social services doesn’t whisk away their younger brother and sister and pry what’s left of the family apart. In the midst of their dysfunction and abandonment they discover a sexual attraction for each other. Spectacularly depressing yet oddly hypnotic, and crafted with control and austere style, The Cement Garden mates well with any late-winter misery.