In Tamara Drewe multiple storylines intertwine, bang up against each other and cause a bit of a mess in an idyllic town in the English countryside. And all of it goes a bit pear-shaped with the arrival of the titular character — a local girl who left for the big city to build some sort of journalistic career for herself.

Apparently before the girl left she had a nose that was real spiteful towards her face. So she had it cut down to size. That and a pair of ridiculously skimpy shorts allow her to become the object of the affections of a rock star she interviews, an ageing writer who lives on the neighbouring property and the boy next door (not necessarily in that order). Much to the consternation of the ageing writer’s wife as well as a teenage fan of the rock star.

Multiple women feel like they have been scorned at different times in this movie and each of them goes about exacting a specific revenge. What this leads to is a large amount of overall unrest.

Tamara Drewe does a great job of building upon itself and by the time the end credits rolled I felt like I had experienced a very satisfying yarn through many threads of whispered gossip.

As the central character, Gemma Arterton does a good job of appearing alluring and frustrating in equal measure. The support cast is great and director Stephen Frears and editor Mick Audsley pull the proceedings together very nicely.

The movie is based upon a weekly comic strip by Posy Simmonds that was itself inspired by the Thomas Hardy novel Far From The Madding Crowd, and it was a thoroughly pleasant surprise.