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Fanny Lye Deliver'd 18 rating

The wife of a puritanical farmer seems resigned to her lot, until she has her head turned by the arrival of a young couple in Thomas Clay’s provocative period drama.

Drama 2020 112 mins

Director: Thomas Clay


On an isolated Shropshire farm in 1657, Fanny Lye (Maxine Peake) lives a humble existence with her puritanical husband John (Charles Dance) and young son Arthur. But the daily routines of this God-fearing family are abruptly interrupted when they discover two strangers hiding in their barn, pleading for help. Claiming to have been robbed and left for dead, the young pair initially ingratiate themselves with their reluctant new hosts, although it is not long before their progressive ways begin to cause tensions. With hostilities brewing, the town’s sheriff pays a visit to the Lye estate in search of a pair of wanted outlaws, forcing the interlopers to reveal their criminal intentions. As the Lyes are held hostage in their own home, Fanny’s world is turned upside down, leading her to doubt her tyrannical husband and the societal structures that dictate her life.

By no means a staid historical saga, Thomas Clay’s intoxicating chamber piece is a daring and rebellious morality tale, drawing on disparate genre elements to weave an unforgettable yarn about physical confinement and spiritual liberation. With arresting visual motifs and a bold use of music injecting an exhilarating urgency to the action, this is filmmaking at its most breathlessly audacious.