Doesn’t contain the social range, the depraved comedy or the general weirdness of Chaucer’s compendium of tales, but the Powell Pressburger prestige rendition gets it right in most other ways, admirably shaggy and imprecise, focusing on the little pleasures over big calamities, as concerned with the track of clouds across the sky as the path of warplanes.
It's a movie-as-walking tour, a fanciful detour through Michael Powell’s hometown of Kent, England. . . . What starts as a rotating gallery of rural eccentrics, an offbeat “Why We Fight” homeland confidence booster, accumulates into something of inchoate power as our guide’s accidental tour of Kent turns into an existential quest, a “why we exist” spiritual journey.