18 June 2002 | Lee-107
A Thoroughly engaging, dreamy and beautiful period film!
After watching this film I realize that it is not so much about whether it "was really" true or untrue...the essence of the film, made amply clear is the Belief of the two girls in fairies that made them see them in the first place. On a metaphysical level the film says that if you really believe in something, however odd or outlandish, it will come true or be true. There's no sense in being contentious about the basis of this film because that is very much valid as I have pointed out above. To do so, as I see some people have done over here, is to not only misunderstand the message of the film but to downplay its other qualities.
The acting of Florence Hoath as Elsie and Elizabeth Earl as Frances is really impressive. Both have done complete justice to their characters. The rest of the cast, Paul McGann as Elsie's father, Peter O'Toole as Arthur Conan Doyle and Harvey Keitel as Houdini are also really good. I also absolutely agree with most of the reviewers here that the early 20th century has been evoked very well. But of course, the best thing about the film is the cinematography. It's gorgeous! The woods where the girls encounter the fairies are evoked beautifully, they're appropriately dreamy and realistic. Praise must definitely be due to the set decorators who have done a brilliant job with the house that the Wrights live in and especially the room which Elsie and Frances share. It's a dream garret room! The music is also quite good. I thoroughly recommend this film, certainly for those who believe in Believing things and also for those who like to watch a really well made period film.