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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Worthy of HC Andersen, well worth the time!

9/10
Author: Billy Sargent (Guerauxguex) from Lincoln, Texas
24 January 2004

This programme weaves a story within a story, the faireytales are brought to life as Hans is brought to his destiny, his own faireytale life. From his impetuous leap into the world to his triumphant crowning glory, pyrrhic & wrought with a too late realization. Hans' stories are used to illustrate his own life, chapters within his ascension. I cast a vote of nine for two reasons. 1) I reserve the highest possible rating for that which leaves me unconcious with delight. 2) There were just a few poorly edited scenes, where an obvious commercial break was intended but the story of the moment got treated a bit like a frisbee run over with a lawnmower. I suppose you could call this a docu-something. Drama? There are dramatic moments. Comedy? There are comedic moments, most often well played by Kieran Bew. He brings Hans to life with madcap delight & innocence & fearlessness born of the ignorance of cruelty. There is a lovely love story here as well. I fell in love with Emily Hamilton's portrayal of Jette. Her obvious love for Hans, her selflessness, her tenderness & strength in adversity are moving. I could go on, & everyone here deserves their moment of illumination, but there are so many & so little room. I would like to note especially Simon Callow as Charles Dickens, and the humour, sweetness, gentleness & poignancy the writer, director & crews wove into the story. God bless you, every one.

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

GREAT MOVIE with NEW FACES

Author: (rainbow414@linkohio.com) from OHIO USA
19 September 2002

I am enjoying watching this movie that has been recently reshown on the Hallmark Channel. How refreshing to watch a film that doesn't have foul language,etc. and tells the wonderful tale in a dramatic form of Hans' life.......I also admired the new actor who played Hans......we hope to see him in other theatrical productions or films sometime soon.......Thanks Hallmark for showing it again on tv!!!!!!

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A brilliant mixture of reality and fantasy.

10/10
Author: qultlifter from Aarhus, Denmark
28 March 2004

This film is absolutely fabulous fiction. Without disclosing much of the actual events, it focuses on Hans Christian Andersen's relations to women after he has left his childhood home. It is described at two levels. A straightforward reality outlines the dilemma quite sober and exact: should you go for what you need, or should you be led by your deepest desire. As intervals fantasies consisting of reproductions of some of the main character's world-famous fairy tales offer the viewer an intense and intuitive understanding that might be hard to obtain otherwise. This is fantasy at its best. I can only compare it with reading Michael Ende's book: The Never-ending Story, and of course Pink Floyd's music-movie of genius 'The Wall'. It is a success mixing reality and fantasy into a higher entity.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Wow!

9/10
Author: swimmercait from Atlanta, United States
11 April 2003

I must say I was quite surprised by this movie. I was not expecting anything of it, but I found it wildly enchanting.

Full of wonderful characters and adventures, and of course fairy tales this is a movie that someone of any age will enjoy.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Excellent Production

Author: geja2001
21 May 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a film for any adult whose childhood was enlightened by any Hans Christian Andersen story or for any adult who is delighting his own child's life by means of these wonderful fairy tales. Kieran Bew portrays a realistic Hans -- someone a little daffy, a little strange, a little wiggly but totally confident and totally gifted. The fairy tales within the film give the viewer a glimpse into the magical, childlike life of Andersen, and everyone is witness to the birth of each story. The dewy, pearl-like face of the mermaid is beautiful, and the blood and the pain and the horror add to her true love for her prince. The little match girl seems a sad story until one recalls the ending of the printed version. The princess and the pea, one of my favorites because I thought it was real when I was young, is very amusing, and the steadfast tin soldier, the whole tale only a hint, is endearing. The costumes and the setting are good selling points, for you'll want to purchase the DVD for repeat viewings. Treat yourself to a visit back in time -- that of Hans Christian Andersen and of your own innocence. Well-loved tales in a production done well. **SPOILER** Prepare for a sad (but I do not think true-to-life) ending.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

What the f....?

3/10
Author: selecting_v
4 May 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Loving the Andersen fairy tails as a child and recently having seen some intriguing documentaries on this odd, though brilliant, author, I eagerly looked forward to see this made-for-TV film. Unfortunately the experience was nothing but a disappointment leaving me in anger and confusion. First of all the story/script is filled with inaccuracies and downright fantasies and in this way creating almost a completely new story while shamefully abusing Andersen's fairy tales, presumably in order to sell the crap to suckers like me. Secondly, pretty-boy actor (really... ever seen a picture of the real Andersen?) Kieran Brew manages to portray Hans Christian as mentally retarded rather than the brilliant though very disturbed character he indeed was. Though annoying and irritating like Andersen, Brew is missing the required charisma to create any feelings of compassion what so ever. Thirdly. The love story between Andersen and the fictional Jetta (whom actually should be Henriette, the wife of Edvard Collin)... Why? This man has lived such an interesting life, it should be enough as a foundation to a great movie!

I could continue this to be a very long list but feel it safest to simply recommend all of you to spend your time and money on something else instead.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

The Steadfast Tin Soldier

Author: Creepy Girl from Catalina from Santa Monica, CA
9 July 2003

As a huge fan of Andersen's life and work, I was extremely pleased to see this movie. I was the Steadfast Tin Soldier, sitting down, mesmerized, by the two parts of this show back to back. It is riddled with inaccuracies and there has been information left out to keep it squeaky clean (go to your local bookstore and find the huge biography of Andersen for the compelling story -- if these stories broke your heart, you haven't seen anything yet!)

But one fact remains true in his autobiography, biographies, and this mini-series: Hans Christian Andersen was a pure soul who wrote heart breaking stories of pure love. Andersen was the last -- and hands down the best -- of writing fairy tales and this movie lovingly recalls that, with a wonderfully touching performance by Kieran Bew, who I am eager to see in other productions as well.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Superb!! What a magnificent film!

10/10
Author: olive_zoeky98 (olive_zoeky98@yahoo.com) from Palmerston North, New Zealand
29 December 2002

Adding to some previous comments, I would like to say that this film is just WOW! I'd been a big fan of Hans Christian Andersen before.. and now even more! When I saw the preview of this movie on Hallmark Channel, I just thought I shouldn't miss it. So, I spent two consecutive nights to watch both parts of this spectacular film; crisp yet heart-throbbing (especially Kieran Bew)! So sad to find out that there's not much information about him on the net, because he's a new-comer :( Well, I just hope to see him on TV again (or even cinema) in the future.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Really Good and Intriguing!

Author: Lee-107 (leewhys@gmail.com) from India
14 June 2003

'The Ugly Duckling' was a part of our English textbooks when I was six-seven years old. After that my interaction with Hans Christian Andersen's tales has been sadly minimal... Until of course I saw Hallmark's production of 'The Snow Queen' with Bridget Fonda recently. But it was this film that really made Hans Christian Andersen intriguing to me and actually made me want to learn more about him through the net. It is one of Hallmark's best productions with really good performances from everyone.

Kieran Bew is excellent in the title role. I'm sad to read from his filmography that hitherto this is the only film he has acted in. In the film, Hans' "brother" Edward, played by Mark Dexter, reads from a letter informing his father (James Fox), that Hans met Victor Hugo while in Paris. It so happened that while reading Hugo's 'Les Miserables' recently (a tome which I have yet to finish!), I could not, really could not imagine anyone else playing the character of the earnest, handsome young Marius in the novel but Kieran Bew! And this was before I even saw this film. I had just seen some trailers of it. I know that there are quite a few productions of 'Les Miserables' already in existence, the most recent one being with Liam Neeson as Jean Valjean. But, I do hope that there is one more production of this epic novel and Kieran Bew gets to play Marius - it's a character made for him! He's a good actor whom I really hope to see in many more films!

All in all a really worthwhile film that needed to be made to keep the torch of Andersen's tales burning(dimmed as it is in the popular imagination by the more dominating presence of the tales of the Brothers Grimm).

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Magically Produced and Charmingly Acted

10/10
Author: Enrique Sanchez from Miami, FL
2 February 2004

What a pleasant surprise to see this splendorous fantasy-biography of the life of Hans Christian Andersen.

First and foremost kudos must go to Kieren Bew for a, dare I say, enchanting portrayal full of energy, delightful invention and childlike pathos and innocence. I hope we see him many more times again.

The direction, writing, art direction and cinematography joined to form a magical setting for Andersen's stories.

This is a clever melding of stories and true biography. I was surprised that the words to a song I've loved for so long, "I Love You!" (Ich Liebe Dich) by Edvard Grieg was penned by Andersen! So many times we see biographies which stretch the truth to adorn the storytelling. But here, it is all true and it works quite well.

This is a story that I will return to again and again. And I will surely never tire of it.

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