Out of work actor Joe volunteers to help try and save his sister’s local church for the community by putting on a Christmas production of Hamlet, somewhat against the advice of his agent Margaretta. As the cast he assembles are still available even at Christmas and are prepared to do it on a ‘profit sharing’ basis (that is, they may not get paid anything) he cannot expect – and does not get – the cream of the cream. But although they all bring their own problems and foibles along, something bigger starts to emerge in the perhaps aptly named village of Hope.Read More »
Kenneth Branagh – In the Bleak Midwinter AKA A Midwinter’s Tale (1995)Kenneth Branagh1991-2000ComedyUSA
Martin Rosen – Watership Down (1978)1971-1980AdventureAnimationMartin RosenUnited Kingdom
A group of rabbits flee their doomed warren and face many dangers to find and protect their new home.
Watership Down delivers all the stuff of a solid animated adventure. Its visual style is naturalistic, even cautious, but often quietly lovely. There’s clever interplay among the nervous Fiver, the gently heroic Hazel, and the blowhard Bigwig, and there’s some genuinely funny comedy involving Zero Mostel’s extravagantly accented seagull. The climactic battle is ingenious and exciting. General Woundwort is one of the truly scary cartoon villains. That solidity gives us a comfortable place to stand while the story opens up to less familiar terrain.Read More »
Henry Kaplan – The Girl on the Boat (1962)1961-1970ClassicsComedyHenry KaplanUnited Kingdom
Set during the 1920s, two English cousins, Samuel (Wisdom) and Eustace (Briers), are returning home from New York aboard a transatlantic liner. Whilst a seasick Eustace is laid-up ill in bed, Samuel falls in love with his cousin’s ex-fiancée Billie (Martin), and attempts to woo her into accepting his marriage proposal. Complications on the journey ensue further when Eustace becomes the target of Jane’s (Hancock) affections; a plain woman who is also coincidently Billie’s cabin mate. When Samuel lands back in Southampton, he mimics his Aunt Hignett’s (Athene Seyler) voice on the phone and manages to deceive Billie, her latest fiancé Bream (Philip Locke) and his father J.P Mortimer, into believing they can rent his aunt’s empty cottage for the summer. Read More »