3 August 1999 | Casey-56
It's a breath of fresh air!
I hardly heard a word about this movie before I saw it. That's a shame because it certainly has much to offer. If you're into high budget, heavily-hyped, glitzy movies loaded with Julia Roberts, space aliens, laser swords, computerized sharks, haunted houses or naked Nicole, this one is not for you. It's classy, charming, understated and you have to be in the right frame of mind in order to enjoy it properly.
The story is told through the eyes of a ten year-old. Bearing this in mind, the plot disconnects and occasional odd characters suddenly make sense--about as much sense as anything can make when you're ten.
The film has in evidence, even to an amatuer, very high production values. The cinematography is stunning--the Scottish countryside is the perfect antidote to urban heat and humidity. The script is witty and downright hilarious at times. However, the film's best feature is its actors, particularly Colin Firth. He portrays a father figure you can hate one moment and love the next with astonishing realism. A less talented actor might have overdone Edward's eccentric nature, rendering the character unbelievable in serious moments. There is great chemistry between Firth and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. Both communicate more with their eyes than with words.
A less talented cast would have turned this movie into just another coming-of-age story. If you're interested in a polished, well-acted memoir with the right blend of comedy and serious moments, this movie is for you. You'll leave the theater satisfied instead of wondering why you wasted your money on yet another overpromoted, overdone Hollywood product.