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FANNY LYE DELIVER’D – Thomas Clay

December 1, 2020 2 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

One of the most obscure independent films to receive a ‘major’ soundtrack release in 2020 is Fanny Lye Deliver’d. Written and directed by the independent British filmmaker Thomas Clay, the film is described in press material as a ‘Puritan western,’ and is set in a bleak and isolated farm in rural Shropshire in the mid-1600s. Maxine Peake stars as Fanny, the young wife of the dour, humorless, but fanatically religious John Lye , played by Charles Dance. Their world is thrown into chaos following the unexpected arrival at the Lye home of two strangers, a young couple who are being doggedly pursued by a ruthless sheriff and his deputy. The chaste and virginal Fanny finds herself attracted to Thomas (Freddie Fox), the male half of the couple, and thus begins a personal and sexual awakening in Fanny, who starts to question her life, her relationship with her husband, and her devotion to God. The film was shot in 2017 and was fraught with problems from the start, including having their producer unexpectedly die, having their meticulous period-accurate sets washed away by a flood, and then by languishing for almost three years in post-production hell. Then, when the film was finally set to be released commercially after going through the festival circuit, the whole thing was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and it finally staggered into release on streaming platforms in June 2020. Read more…