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It Snows in Benidorm review – Timothy Spall is the bright spot in overcast drama

A Manchester bank worker unceremoniously dumped into early retirement, Peter (Timothy Spall) decides to embark on a long-postponed visit to his brother in Spain. When he arrives in Benidorm, however, his sibling is missing. Bumbling Peter, an amateur meteorologist with the rather wearisome habit of viewing life through a series of unwieldy weather metaphors, is flummoxed.

Director Isabel Coixet is overly fond of contrasting scenes of beery carnage in streets of Benidorm with shots of Peter’s doleful, deflated balloon of a face. Things improve somewhat when he meets his brother’s work associate Alex (Sarita Choudhury), a mysterious beauty who will serve as a guide on his quest for the truth, a search that seems to move on a glacial timescale. The always impressive Spall elevates this low-key mood piece a little, but even his skill as an actor can’t save the stultifying pacing.