(David Green, UK, 1988)


In its best and brightest moments, British cinema has developed a remarkable tradition of bittersweet comedy-dramas (including Letter to Brezhnev [1985] and Mike Leigh’s films).

Such movies explore the pathos of ordinary people who, in their everyday lives, dream of something grander – and sometimes find their wish granted, for good or ill.

Buster works a minor, soft-edged variation on this formula in its account of one shifty-but-decent character (played by singer Phil Collins) who participated in Britain’s legendary Great Train Robbery.

Director David Green stays on the bubbly surface of both the caper aspect of the story, and Buster’s evasive relation with his wife (Julie Walters).

© Adrian Martin January 1993

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
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