4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Complex material intelligently realised through fine ensemble acting, writing and direction. An under-appreciated period drama gem.
paul-ackerley from United Kingdom
28 August 2004
This Edwardian-set period piece has been intelligently realised through
fine ensemble acting, writing and direction. Written for the screen by
the acclaimed William Trevor, he has shown good judgement in selection
of material from its two source books, constructing a single powerful
narrative that respects both author's dislike of sentimentality and
valuing Joe's fondness for historical accuracy and economy of language.
Richard Loncraine directs with restraint and subtlety while every
member of the ensemble cast delivers beautifully understated
performances. Freddy Francis and Judy Parfitt in particular.
It therefore remains a surprise that this has lain unappreciated for
many years. It is the companion to 'We Think The World Of You', with
Alan Bates and Gary Oldman, the other J.R.Ackerley piece to be filmed
and is reminiscent of the excellent TV adaptation of Jeanette
Winterson's 'Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit'. Both of these still enjoy
distribution, while Secret Orchards does not. On the strength of the
evidence, it can only be because, sadly, Secret Orchards is no longer
considered a commercial proposition. If however you do find a copy, see
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