Memoir of the lives of a family growing up on a post World War I British estate headed up by a strong disciplinarian, her daughter, her inventor husband, their ten year old son, and his ...
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Memoir of the lives of a family growing up on a post World War I British estate headed up by a strong disciplinarian, her daughter, her inventor husband, their ten year old son, and his older sister. Through the household comes a number of suitors hoping to impress the young woman, including an aviator. When the elder woman's son shows up at the estate with his French fiancé, everything gets thrown into turmoil. The young boy takes a sudden interest in her sexual allure and his father is disturbed by his own non-Victorian feelings. Written by
John Sacksteder <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I saw My Life So Far at a preview screening and loved it. It's a small, modest movie; don't go expecting "Saving Pvt Ryan." But for what it is it's wonderful--like escaping from a fetid city and diving into a clear cool lake.
It's one of those comedies of family life that both adults and (older) children can enjoy--the kind "they used to make." The ten-year-old narrator doesn't understand a lot of what he sees going on around him (mainly sex), but the audience does. Set in the Scottish highlands in the mid-thirties, it evokes the kind of idyllic life that vanished after the War--a large extended family living in a big ramshackle house on old family property with dogs, servants, neighbors and occasionally an unexpected visitor or two. There's not much story to the film; it's mainly about the rather eccentric characters who inhabit it, and the way they relate to each other.
The ensemble cast of British, French and American actors is perfect. Especially fine is Colin Firth, who plays the narrator's boyish, sexy and definitely oddball father. Every time I see this actor I marvel at how he manages to display so many conflicting emotions and thoughts while seeming never to move a muscle. And he's gorgeous to look upon, too. Rosemary Harris gives one of her typically fine performances as the boy's grandma, and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio manages to do a great deal with rather little as the boy's mother. Malcolm McDowell is the wealthy uncle with the child bride (Irene Jacob) who is everything that Firth isn't. The tension between them is almost palpable and erupts into a fistfight before the film's end. My only reservation about the acting is with Robbie Norman as the kid; he is cute in a freckle-faced way but not very expressive (especially set beside Firth).
All in all, I give this film a 9. There's still something to be said for modesty, humor and charm. I wish there were more films like it.
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