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The Edge of Love is a 2008 John Maybury film starring Keira Knightley, Sienna Miller, Cillian Murphy and Matthew Rhys from a script by Sharman Macdonald, Knightley's mother. Originally titled The Best Time of Our Lives, the story concerns the famous Welshmarker poet Dylan Thomas (played by Rhys), his wife Caitlin MacNamara (played by Miller) and their married friends, the Killicks (played by Knightley and Murphy). It was an official selection at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.


The story is based loosely on real events and people. During World War II, Vera Phillips (Keira Knightley) runs into her first love, charismatic Welsh poet Dylan Thomas (Matthew Rhys), and their feelings for each other are renewed, despite that Dylan is now married to the spirited Caitlin MacNamara (Sienna Miller). Despite their rivalry, the two women become friends and the trio have happy times together. When Vera marries soldier William Killick (Cillian Murphy), Dylan becomes jealous at the addition of him to the group, and Caitlin notices. But William is soon deployed abroad, and the remaining trio move to the Welsh countryside, where Vera's feelings for Dylan intensify. When William comes home from the war, his jealousy, compounded by his traumatic experiences and Vera's use of William's pay to aid the Thomases, explodes and he shoots up Dylan's house. However, despite Dylan's perjury, William is found innocent of attempted murder. The film closes with the Thomas family leaving their Welsh home and Caitlin parting with Vera.


Cast and Characters
Keira Knightley Vera Phillips
Cillian Murphy William Killick
Sienna Miller Caitlin MacNamara
Matthew Rhys Dylan Thomas
Lisa Stansfield Ruth Williams
Graham McPherson Al Bowlly
Camilla Rutherford Nicolette
Alastair Mackenzie Anthony Devas
Richard Dillane Lt Col David Talbot Rice
Huw Ceredig John Patrick
Simon Armstrong Wilfred Hosgood
Rachel Essex Mel
Nick Stringer PC Williams
Anthony O'Donnell Jack Lloyd
Rachel Bell Midwife
Anne Lambton Anita Shenkin
Karl Johnson Dai Fred
Richard Clifford Alistair Graham
Bethany Towell Rowatt 1 month
Acacia Pattinson Biggs


The film made its world premiere opening the Edinburgh Film Festival on 18 June 2008. It was released in Londonmarker and Dublinmarker two days later, with a Welshmarker premiere taking place in Swanseamarker (the birth place of Dylan Thomas) on the same night, to be attended by Matthew Rhys. A national release follows in the UKmarker and Irelandmarker on 27 June 2008. An exhibition of costumes, scripts and props from the film is on display at the Dylan Thomas Centremarker in Swanseamarker until September.

Critical reaction

As of 21 August 2008, the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 38 percent of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 45 reviews. The Hollywood Reporter critic Ray Bennett commented that The Edge of Love is a "wonderfully atmospheric tale of love and war" and stated about Knightley and Miller that; "the film belongs to the women, with Knightley going from strength to strength (and showing she can sing!) and Miller again proving that she has everything it takes to be a major movie star."

As of August 25, 2008, the movie review aggregator, Metacritic, awarded the film a score of 39 denoting "generally unfavorable reviews".In Variety, Leslie Felperin commented: "While the period drama has several redeeming features, tonally it's all over the map, veering between artsy stylization and hum-drum, sometimes almost twee melodrama."

Mark Kermode described the film as "inert" and said that the script was "flawed but not without some form of admirable merit". The Independent felt that "Maybury's stylisation makes the film more interesting than it would have been if directed by your average British journeyman, but it finally adds up to earnest heritage romance."

Sienna Miller received a nomination as Best Supporting Actress at the British Independent Spirit Awards.


The Edge Of Love soundtrack by Angelo Badalamenti includes performances by lead singers Patrick Wolf, Siouxsie and Beth Rowley. Siouxsie performs the second version of the title track and Keira Knightley sings on four tracks.

The composer performed the soundtrack live with Siouxsie and Beth Rowley in Ghentmarker, at the World Soundtrack Awards, in October 2008.

Track Listing

  1. "Lovers Lie Abed"
  2. "Overture/Blue Tahitian Moon"
  3. "Underground Shelter"
  4. "Hang Out The Stars In Indiana"
  5. "After The Bombing/Hang Out The Stars In Indiana"
  6. "A Stranger Has Come"
  7. "Fire To The Stars"
  8. "Careless Talk"
  9. "Careless Love"
  10. "Love Me"
  11. "Careless Talk"
  12. "Drifting And Dreaming"
  13. "Home Movies"
  14. "Under Fire"
  15. "Maybe It's Because I Love You Too Much"
  16. "Vera Begs Dylan"
  17. "Vera's Theme"
  18. "Holding Rowatt"
  19. "Careless Love"
  20. "Caitlin's Theme"


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