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  • What a lovely, lovely movie!

    It's a grownup fairy tale with hints of magic: hearts opening, friendships blossoming and creativity abounding. The story is centered around a garden...after all, in real life the work of a gardener is a form of magic. The characters are endearing and the cast is perfection: from the cantankerous cynical neighbor to the witchy librarian to the magical inventor to the girl who makes art because she must.

    As I exited the movie I told my husband it will be one we must share with our adult daughter, my aged mother and our millennial son. Something there for all of us.
  • For a film that is so simple a story line, it was just beautiful. I loved every minute of it.

    Jessica Findley is a fresh face that I'm starting to see more and more, the film industry is better for it. She's truly gifted and can carry her character to the fullest. I first noticed her in the TV series Harlots, she carries that show as well. All eyes are drawn to her.

    Well written, cast, filmed, staged and executed. Been a very long time since a simple PG rated movie was done this well. A breath of fresh air, someone else wrote. Well stated.

    Highly recommend this beautifully fantastic film.
  • It's been some time since I've been so captivated by a film, initially I found myself wondering what I was watching, and even what genre it fitted into, the dreaded family film.

    The arrival of Andrew Scott convinced me that it was going to be good, I hadn't realised just how good. The characters are virtually perfect, each of them with a part to play, each of them truly captivating, and beautifully portrayed.

    Every single cast member is fantastic, Tom Wilkinson, Jessica Brown Findlay, and of course the incredible Andre Scott. I loved Anna Chancellor's prickly librarian.

    It was a feel good film, on that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

    It's a quirky story, one that could be overlooked, but don't make the same mistake I did, quite simply, it's an enchanting film. 10/10
  • They say for good story you need to put ordinary people in unusual conditions. In this movie all is done exactly opposite — extraordinary people trying to live a normal life. Very gentle and sensitive, sometimes melodramatic, sometimes a little fantasy story about friendship. A lot in the characters and their stories is left out of the scenes and storyline, that adds its charm, but sometimes it confuses too, because at the end of the story plot is sometimes torn and increasingly appear worn cliché. But the subtle British humor, solid cast alloy and sincere dedication of the characters to each other and the common cause keep you in good shape up to the final.

    This is the second serious work of the director and screenwriter Simon Aboud (after the movie "Comes a Bright Day" 2012), and it may well be his lift up. The film is shot in a beautiful style, has a well defined set design and fascinating close-ups. A variety of pastel colors contrast beautifully with the dark attires of the protagonist, who boldly challenges Amélie.

    Among the actors, despite the presence of the BAFTA winner and a sweet dream of all women in the world, Andrew Scott (prof. Moriarty, who have not understood;) ), Tom Wilkinson should be noted. His image only is not cause any issues. Old horse, as you known, doesn't spoil the furrow. And here he is, in fact, determines the nature of the entire film. Another picture in a long creative biography of the actor, for which he is most likely again will be nominated for something as a supporting actor. You can't escape from your fate ;)

    The overall impression is slightly spoiled by the trolling of the Russian speaking distributors who translated "This Beautiful Fantastic" as "Fantastic love and where to find it". Trying to play on a borrowed brand stinks, especially that the original title itself is intriguing. In Ukrainian version it is "Magic Magnificents" and it is magic and magnificent, and correct!

    Overall, the film is definitely worth repeated viewing and can be seen as a family, children, "not for everyone", romance and more. It is all of those at once and any of these limits does not fit it unambiguously.

    From me movie has solid 8/10 (8 of 10) and the tab for the home video library.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Tom Wilkinson is an actor who never fails to please, even in an average, low-budget film like "The Beautiful Fantastic." In this slow-moving fable, the film follows the life of a foundling child, Miss Bella Brown, who grows up to be obsessed with order. She is especially skillful as a mousy librarian who seemingly knows every book in the local library. But her definition of order does not include the outdoors and the paradigm of what is considered order in nature: a garden.

    The story unfolds around the flimsy premise that Miss Brown will be evicted from her home unless she can transform her unkempt backyard into a beautiful garden. The "magic garden" scenario is played out alongside a children's story that Bella is writing about a fantastic creature. The unconvincing romantic subplot evolves between a library patron who is an inventor and Miss Brown. Sadly, there is not a scintilla of chemistry between the characters.

    The various narrative strands never come together in the film. But the most engaging scenes are those with Bella in conversation with her neighbor, a curmudgeon and lover of flora named Alfred "Alfie" Stevenson. As Alfie, Wilkinson shines with the one-liners and the character choices of a nasty old man with a heart of gold.

    One especially glaring weakness with the film was the big build-up to the moment when Bella, working with the assistance of Alfie, finally completes her garden. Inexplicably, we never even see the entire garden, only glimpse a portion of the pond during the celebration.

    The filmmakers dropped the ball in not creating for the viewer a spectacular floral enclave that was the fruit of the labors of Bella, Alfie, and the long-suffering Irishman, Vernon, a widower who is clearly in love with Bella. With the exception of Alfie, the characters in this film were one-dimensional, cardboard cutouts. And the viewers were left in the lurch, as we were frantically screaming, "Show us the garden!"

    As a expert gardener, Alfie delivers a memorable metaphor of the ideal garden as "a world of beautifully ordered chaos." Unfortunately, the film had plenty of chaos, but lacked the beauty and the order of a garden that was never revealed to the audience.
  • Four of us went to see this charming film at the Palm Springs Film Festival. We loved it. Even more, the entire audience loved it -- some gave it a standing ovation, which is a rarity in movie theaters. Further still, it was awarded a Best of the Best award at the film festival The movie an absolutely enchanting, sweet-hearted, inspiring film. It's not Citizen Kane, but it stands at about the same height as Amelie and Princess Bride. Sure, some of it is predictable, but that didn't ruin our enjoyment at all. We love deep and thought provoking films, but after all of that "meat", it's great to have "dessert". And This Beautiful Fantastic is a kick-ass, yummy Baked Alaska, but with no calories.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Bella Brown is portrayed by the excellent Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey, Winter's Tale and Victor Frankenstein). Through her Bellas character gets depth, and stands as the beautiful and subtle woman who never gives up. This happens despite the fact that she is an orphan, her galloping OCD and her fear of nature. The film centers on that Bellas landlord will throw her out if she do not do something about her neglected garden. This is the beginning of a friendship with her neighbors Alfie Stephenson and his chef Vernon.

    The film is driven by stunning performances by Tom Wilkinson ('Shakespeare in Love', 'Batman Begins' and 'Michael Clayton') as the neighbor Alfie. He is a loner who most of all is waiting to die. Meanwhile he amuses himself with his garden, good food and snide remarks to everyone around him. Andrew Scott ('Sherlock', 'Pride' and 'Spectre') is the chef Vernon, giving life to an otherwise dull character. Thanks to Bella leaving Viktor from his position with Alfie, in order to be employed as a cook with her. It turns upside down on her 'perfect' OCD world of loneliness, order and structure.

    The director Simon Abouds ('Come Here Today'and'Comes a Bright Day') reflection and commitment rubs off on the film, although it sometimes is extremely predictable. This does not change that Simon Aboud has created a successful and charismatic movie where humor and OCD transformes and unite at the end of the movie.

    The film's focus on the wonderful weird people gives a new and different tale, with its alternative approach to man's daily struggle, the movie manages to approach reality in a whole new way. 'This Beautiful Fantastic' is the reason why we love movies.
  • This Beautiful Fantastic is an incredible cinematic experience that I'll never forget! It is a stunning movie that brings two lonely people together to enjoy the beauty of nature. I love seeing each character grow throughout the film.

    This incredible film is about an aspiring author with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) named Bella (Jessica Brown Findlay). She befriends her next door neighbor, Alfred (Tom Wilkinson), when she is told she will be evicted from her house if she doesn't tend to her garden. With the help from Alfred and Vernon (Andrew Scott), Bella's personal chef, they try to find a way to tend to the garden and, in doing so, discover how a garden influences them.

    This film has stunning visuals, character development and a spellbinding script that turns it into a cinematic masterpiece. The flowers in Alfred's garden add to the visual appeal of the film because of its juxtaposition to Bella's garden. The set design also creates visual appeal, with sets such as Bella's canopy bed and the setup of the garden. The garden is what inspired the film's title because Bella describes it as "beautiful, fantastic." The cinematography is gorgeous as well. An example of this is when the downpour starts and a rainbow reflects over Bella's face.

    In this movie, the characters grow alongside each other. Alfred starts off as a grumpy and mean old man, but grows to be kind, gentle and treats Bella as though she is his daughter. Bella is introduced as timid and scared of nature, but she overcomes her fear when she befriends Alfred and learns to care for the garden. Throughout the movie, you also see Bella become less and less OCD. At the end, she leaves her door open versus, in the beginning she checks the door five times before leaving the house. There is also a change in Vernon. In the beginning, he is very nervous and acts as a "slave" towards Alfred. But by the end, he becomes less scared and more independent.

    The music adds an ethereal effect to the movie, such as when Alfred watches Bella tend to the garden. Also, when Billy (Jeremy Irvine) shows Bella the mechanical bird, Luna, he is making. The music in this scene adds a very magical tone.

    I love how eloquent the script is. An example of this is when Billy talks to Bella about a statue he is studying called The Ecstasy of Theresa. He describes it as "destroying logic with emotion." His detail in explaining the statue shows how impactful art can be to a person.

    This film demonstrates how much another person can help you thrive and adore the importance of nature. I rate it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for people ages 10 to 18 and adults will enjoy it as well. This movie comes out March 10, 2017 in theaters nation wide, so check it out.

    Reviewed by Ella L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic. For more reviews by youth, visit kidsfirst dot org.
  • To make myself feel balanced and fair, I deducted one star for predictability -- but just one. Knowing where characters are going is not a huge crime.

    I love this cast. Tom Wilkinson and Andrew Scott are renowned for creating and inhabiting completely formed characters. Jessica Brown Findlay is hot on their heels. She first came to my attention as Lady Sybil in DOWNTON ABBEY. Now she's scorching the small screen in HARLOTS with an incredibly complex character. In this film she is nerdy and quirky, but wears it well. With lesser actors, similar roles feel labored and annoying.

    The impossibly handsome Jeremy Irvine is well matched with Findlay, their luminous nerds are such a guilty pleasure and I was happy to see their story-line progress.

    If this were a Hollywood effort, the band of misfits would probably be one-dimensional and unpalatable. What we have here are misfits who are relatable: co-workers, strangers at the market, family, friends, and possibly ourselves.

    This is a film full of heart that some modern directors are too scared to make: it's adorable and full of heart. Written and directed by Simon Aboud (COMES A BRIGHT DAY), it's sweetness is delightful and delicate without being overpowering.
  • My opinion-.

    This Beautiful Fantastic is a very nice comedy with the dramatic sides of: Simon Aboud who knew to master perfectly his realization that I found very neat. It is a fresh and sensitive comedy with moving human sides and it still makes a little think of the character "Amélie Poulain" to another register of course Amélie Poulain being a wonderful production while here it is a beautiful production. This comedy is easily seen and the character of Miss Bella Brown is extremely well interpreted by: Jessica Brown-Findlay, as to the other two actors: Tom Wilkinson in the role of: Alfie Stephenson and Andrew Scott in the role of: Vernon And finally Jeremy Irvine as Billy. All these actors render a very beautiful quality to the movie by their respective talents with a plus for the delicious Jessica Brown- Findlay. A comedy that I advise, because it is filled with beautiful feelings.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I'm actually glad Charlotte from Harlots got with mechanical birds guy in the end and not Vernon. It was wholesome. I never wanted a garden until finishing this movie. Huh
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A nice story, walking on the steps of Amelie, but not really getting there. The story focuses on a young woman, who is peculiar in her own ways. She likes her own routine. Everything changes when he next door neighbour complains about her garden, that she had left to go wild. She is forced by the landlord to maintain it, else she should leave the house. However, she is scared of plants and nature. In addition, she takes in her neighbour's cook, who he mistreats, and she meets an ambitious inventor in the library where she works. All in all, the story is cute and sweet, with the garden, the odd girl and the relationships she forms with the people who unexpectedly appeared in her life. However, it felt like something was missing, like something in the romance, or the love triangle (if there was one to begin with, though there were some traces of it and hints here and there). The garden stories were nice and some of the scenes really beautiful. So, 6 out of 10.
  • I spent a very pleasant 100 minutes watching this movie. It was a good STORY. It was not filled with special effects, violence, or nudity. I can/have/will continue to enjoy all those things in movies, but it was refreshing to relax and enjoy a good story.

    The movie was slightly predictable, but in a good way. As I got caught up in the story I wanted those things to happen. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
  • Pleasant is the word that comes to mind. It isn't magic realism even though it seems to start that way.

    Jessica Findlay is a little too pretty to be what she is but she is a pleasure to watch even with the frumpy clothes and hair. Jeremy Irvine plays the nerd quite well.

    The little romantic drama at the end is contrived but neat.

    The neighborly relationships and eccentric characters bring to mind the Jack Nicholson movie "As Good as it Gets".

    The ending is feel good wish fulfillment and leaves a pleasant aftertaste.

    This movie isn't laugh out loud funny - it could have been funnier but that's part of it's understated charm.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "This Beautiful Fantastic" (honestly a pretty bad title sadly) is a British/American co-production that premiered last year (2016) and is the most recent work by writer and director Simon Aboud. For him, it is the second full feature film and this one here has all the possibilities to become more famous than his first work starring Timothy Spall btw. He also worked on several short films, for example a Paul McCartney music video. Anyway, back to this one here. The lead actress is Jessica Brown Findlay and it is a bit of a breakthrough performance. First of all, she is amazingly gorgeous in my opinion, a mix of Scarlett Johansson and Mary Elizabeth Winstead with an ounce of Gemma Arterton. People who still say today that British girls are not attractive really need to take a look at her. I see she was also in Downton Abbey, but I never really liked that show, so no further comment there. As for this film here, I think she also shows she is a good actress, even if the role eventually does not have as much to offer as it initially seems. But she does a good job with the OCD parts for example. The rest of the cast also includes some well-known names. Jeremy Irvine has been in some known films already and Andrew Scott is known to many too, mostly for appearing in the (horribly overrated) Sherlock series. But he is good there and I also liked him in this 100-minute movie here. Actually, I wanted him to get the girl eventually, but oh well I guess it's fine what they did as friendship is a nice option too. I just found him more likable somehow than the actual love interest.

    And then there is also 2-time Oscar nominee Tom Wilkinson, who was probably the very best thing about the film, which also shows that he is part of the most emotional moment at the very end and I found it pretty sad, even if it was not entirely unexpected with his earlier comment during a phone conversation. I read people compare this film to Amélie on some occasions, but I am not sure I would agree. Yes there is a moment here and there where the tone and atmosphere was similar, but as a whole I see almost no parallels apart from the central female character. I would also say it is slightly worse, but has its own strengths nonetheless and the film shines for entirely different reasons than Amélie. Oh yeah and ducks are amazing, no doubt about it. All in all, I believe this was a pretty good watch, sometimes even great thanks to Wilkinson, that I would not count anywhere near my very best of the year, but a fairly convincing film from start to finish that had me curious about what would happen next to the characters. Maybe my preference for Scott's character also had to do with me liking the actor as the eventual love interest is also a likable character without a doubt, especially with the final revelation that was as simple as making sense. It was good because if he really had cheated on her and the explanation of her seeing him with another chick would have been slightly weird with how she reacted, even if this also had to do with her illness. Anyway, it's still good the film did not focus on the illness entirely, but just as part of the side action. Finally, I want to finish my review with a little reference to a scene that showed everybody how much the relationship was helping her. This would be a scene with the door that she obsessively closes early on, but when she is off to see her sweetheart, then she just lets it open and forgets about the disorder completely. That's all from me now. Go see this film if you get a chance too. You will not be disappointed.
  • with all the negative fake news and all the mean selfish people abounding in life, this movie was a much needed respite from it all. Wow, so heart-tugging and captivating on so many levels. I'm not a Gardner, but I'm a human being with a heart, so this was not only a relief, but a true winner of a movie. I open my heart and door to people like this in real life. These are the type of characters that truly enrich us.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I confess I watched this movie for the actors, particularly Jessica Brown-FIndlay and Tom Wilkinson. I know Andrew Scott from "Sherlock", of which I am not a particular fan, but he is a fine actor. Jeremy Irvine? I've only ever seen him in "War Horse." As it happens his character kind of throws a wrench into the film for me, not due to his performance which is winning enough, but because I found it unnecessary. As someone else said, I kind of wanted the Scott character to "get the girl" and I think that would have been a nice twist? But no matter, the JBF/Wilkinson/Scott triad forms a nice solid core to the film in the end.

    Is the movie a little twee? Yes, but I expected that and I don't think it pretends to be otherwise. But even within the short 90-minute time frame, the characters develop enough to be nuanced and balanced. Wilkinson's acerbic Alfie softens, JBF's mousy Bella bristles and Scott's Vernon mans up. The central gardening/nature metaphor works really beautifully (sorry), inspiring both the score and cinematography which are lovely. The scene where Bella first sees Alfie's garden is particularly charming.

    Maybe it's because I happen to be dealing with a big gardening challenge of my own right now, but I was actually moved by this film in the end. I'd say it takes itself just seriously enough, and the warm, understated performances and specific chemistry make it a good watch.
  • A very cool movie, has involved us, a strange girl, incidentally, several strange people, but who can form a harmony, one of the poetry movies we see, too beautiful !!!

    Let's keep an eye on the new filmmaker, Simon Aboud who previously made the film "Comes a Bright Day" in 2012, as well as short films and also screen films. He is married to Mary MacCartney, Paul's first wife, and Linda MacCartney. The cast has great talents and the talents of Tom Wilkinson, a renowned actor in many great films (The Exotic Marigold Hotel of 2011).

    A way to tell story so that it causes glamor, the best of cinema, loved it!
  • The magic in this movie is the message. The characters are wonderful examples of normal and good people. This is a movie about understanding people, the unexpected ways of nature and life, storytelling and books. It is also a family movie so you can watch with kids and they will enjoy it. A simple movie but with a marvelous script.

    Go have a really nice time with this movie and collect the message it has to give you.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    In 1978 I traveled to several European countries. In England I stayed in a 3 star hotel (I don't remember the name) on a street whose houses resembled the "decor" of this movie, directed by Simon Aboud. Basically it is a fairy tale. There, the fictional time is in charge of making a game that will only end with a death, inevitable end of all of us. By the way, in the initial scene a baby appears, foreseeing what will unfold. The highlight is Jessica Brown Findlay's interpretation whose nuances of looking (I don't know how many times Simon Aboud has asked to repeat the scenes) range from irony to incredulity. Tom Wilkinson is superb in his role as a grouchy landlord (which in his end of the movie, or in the middle of the movie, we see that loved so much). The rest of the cast behaves as expected when directed by a director of Simon. Film that should be seen and reviewed by all those who seek an oasis in the fantasy world, away from this real, chaotic, violent world. On a scale of 1 to 10, my vote is 10 (masterpiece).
  • Warning: Spoilers
    It is so nice to find a gem of a movie like this that gives you that old feeling only classic films can give you. The lead character would-be-author, who's boss is an hilarious head librarian, could've been played by Audrey Hepburn in the late 50's. She has a cantankerous old neighbor, and a backyard garden she has to beautify, so she doesn't get evicted. Throw in a male cook who has been abruptly treated by the neighbor, and a love interest with a young hot bespectacled inventor. This all makes for a simply beatuful treat of a film.
  • I am really glad, that two of my fellow commentators brought it down to the point: this a bland movie. A very strange and unsuccessful try of a kind of "Amelie"-movie, that doesn't work at all. There is not a single surprise in the plot. You can see every turn five minutes before they happen on the screen. Terrible casting of Jessica Brown Findlay and Jeremy Irvine. Good performances by Andrew Scott and Tom Wilkinson, which prevent me from giving it a one-star-rating. Don't waste your time on this.
  • There is something quite magical about this film. Although it is slow moving, it is full of heart & charm. The plot is simply a means to unfold the depth of the characters.

    Bella Brown lives a predictable life. She eats the same thing at the same time every day, wears the same clothes & makes sure she sticks to her schedule. She dreams of becoming a writer, but has yet to write a single book. However, her life quickly becomes uprooted by her stubborn, elderly neighbor. Bella begins a journey of self-discovery that is a joy to behold.

    There are few films that can tranform the mundane into a beautiful, charming tale of what it truly means to live. If you only enjoy action-packed films, this may not be the movie for you. However, if you can appreciate the small things & enjoy subtle films that focus on character development, this is the film for you.

    It is well worth the watch (or multiple watches in my case).
  • A strange little movie this but it will no doubt appeal to lovers of the "British Gem" movie genre. Personally I find "British Gem" the 2 most feared words in the English language (or possibly first equal with "Human Resources") but evidently enough movie goers find them appealing enough for the British to keep churning them out. That's fine with me as long as I am warned in the movie's promotional material so I can do something more enjoyable, like plunge my hand into a vat of boiling oil.

    Some reviewers have compared this movie to Amelie but I wouldn't agree. While the first few minutes of the movie attempts to give some bizarre back story to explain how eccentric the heroine (Bella) supposedly is, for the duration of the movie itself she acts completely normally, apart from a touch of OCD. Her apparent need to be orderly certainly plays no part in the story, in fact it is completely contradictory to the way she lives, with her garden in chaos, which is somewhat confusing. Amelie was strong and always in control and her quirkiness was pivotal to that movie. Bella is never in control and she is not inherently quirky, she is just lost, unfulfilled and drifting. However it is true that both movies rely on the appeal of an attractive actress who has a certain quality that one would be hard pressed to accurately define - perhaps "instantly lovable" is somewhere near.

    As others have noted the "plot" is completely predictable and the "characters" are all the usual suspects for this kind of movie. It is all a bit of fluff and I doubt it will be challenging "War and Peace" for a place in World literature any time soon.

    For all that I enjoyed this movie more than I expected and this is entirely down to the actors, who generally handled their fairly thankless and undemanding roles with subtlety. In the wrong hands this movie could very easily have tipped the scales from just teetering on the edge of working into something horrific, and it is a credit to the cast that they pitched it just right.

    I saw this movie with a group and the comments ranged from "the worst movie I have ever seen in my life" to "quaint" and "exquisite". My view is somewhere in between.
  • This film tells the story of a young woman who works in a library. She keeps her rental property nice, but it's unable to keep the garden beautiful. One day, the landlord gives her one month to make the garden beautiful and fantastic, otherwise she will be evicted.

    "This Beautiful Fantastic" has a slow pace, and takes time to develop the story. To be honest, the obsessive character trait of the leading woman isn't explored enough, as the trait is shown in the beginning but does not appear anymore after the initial moments. The old neighbour speaks in an old fashioned way, with complicated sentences but impolite as can be. No one speaks like that nowadays. Honestly, the story is less than engaging. I thought there was going to be something magical in the garden, but I waited in vain. The only thing I really enjoyed was the chief librarian who obsessively enforced library rules.
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