Anyone with a passing knowledge of the British film industry won't be surprised at his main conclusion - that it all comes down to distribution.
Valentine’s Day, like so many heavily marketed and advertised Hollywood films in Britain, opened last week on a massive number of screens - 432. Fish Tank opened last September on just 47. What hope did it have? At that time I met its director Andrea Arnold, who told me plaintively she believed lots of people would like her film if only they got the chance to see it.
But they don’t. Some weeks back, I alluded to this in a Saturday Telegraph column, and a reader wrote to confirm that her friends were 'not aware of this type of (British) film, whereas they know all about American releases.’ Popcorn movies, she added, could be seen 'anywhere, at all times, but anything else is restricted viewing as far as my two local cinemas are concerned.’ Now this was someone with not one but two local cinemas. And she lives within 20 miles of London. If she feels excluded from British films, imagine how someone living in Cumbria or Cornwall must feel.