Ali & Ava
Ali & Ava

Ali & Ava

Spotlight Film

Ali & Ava

Directed by: Clio Barnard

UK, 2021, 95m

East Coast Premiere

Ali, a British-Pakistani bundle of good humor and nervous energy working as a landlord, is struggling to keep his recent separation from his wife a secret from his family. Irish-born Ava is a pragmatic, middle-aged teaching assistant, widow, and matriarch to a large and close-knit family, whose latest grandchild has just been born. When a chance encounter unites them, Ali and Ava begin a tentative friendship formed around their shared love of music that quickly blossoms into an unexpected romance. But can their mutual desire transcend a barrage of personal obstacles? Deftly weaving together conventions of social realism and romantic drama, this intelligent and nuanced depiction of 21st century Britain explores themes of race and class dynamics, mental health, racism, happiness, and the delight of unexpected connection. Bolstered by Claire Rushbrook (Ammonite) and Adeel Akhtar’s (Four Lions) extraordinary and authentic performances (including a BAFTA nomination for best actor), Ali & Ava is a small miracle—a tumultuous and fiercely affecting working-class midlife love story that’s both heart-wrenching and joyous.

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