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JANICE BEARD: 45 WPM

UK, 1999 (MIFF 2000, International Panorama)

Director: Claire Kilner

Janice Beard is a woman with a vivacious personality and an overactive imagination, who has been causing shocks her whole life. Her father died of a heart attack while she was being born, and her mother subsequently plunged into a 23-year spell of "post-natal, post-mortem depression", keeping her housebound. One day Janice leaves home, hoping to ultimately ride back into Scotland and free her mother from this cruel fate! On the road ahead lies London and a world of glorious opportunities. Inventing an elaborate fantasy world in which her past professional and creative exploits would woo any employer, our heroine lands a job as a typist at a car manufacturing firm and manages to get herself into all sorts of intrigue—romance and industrial espionage for starters. Starring newcomer Eileen Walsh, Rhys Ifans—who made an lasting impression as the shabby housemate from Notting Hill—and Patsy Kensit, this debut feature from Clare Kilner is both charming and hilarious. You will be cheering for Janice as she strives to conquer the big city and make her mark.

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