LOLA movie review: Irish filmmaker shows great ambition and vision in time-twisting debut

Hilary White

Irish filmmaker Andrew Legge makes his debut with LOLA.


Four stars

Opens Friday; Cert 15A

Sisters Thomasina (Emma Appleton) and Martha (Stefanie Martini) live by themselves in a country pile in the England of 1941. Their love of music has fed into the development of a contraption that can intercept radio broadcasts from the future.

This has awakened them to Bowie, Dylan and punk ahead of time, but also future transmissions about the ongoing war against Hitler. They begin alerting citizens to bombings, in the process saving countless lives.

Soon, the British military are on to them, and a soldier (Rory Fleck Byrne) is posted at the house to feed intelligence back to Churchill. As is to be expected, all this meddling with time creates an unholy mess in not only the conflict, but pop culture too.

By making his feature debut with a found-footage, sci-fi fable set in the era of Pathé newsreels and rationing, Irish filmmaker Andrew Legge shows considerable ambition and vision, despite Lola’s sometimes wobbly composition.

The sparkling chemistry between his two leads and the ramshackle setting add to a pleasantly unmoored register. Divine Comedy supremo Neil Hannon provides original song compositions, which is never a bad thing.