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Skellig was one of my childhood books and it has stuck with ever since
I was 10 years old (at my school there were two camps for a little
while, the Chamber of Secrets camp and the Skellig camp, I was in the
latter). I was always sure that in the right hands it could translate
into a great film, but was never sure who's hands those were.
My mind certainly didn't ever even consider Annabel Jankel, especially after she aided in the insulting filmic version of one of my other childhood loves (Super Mario Bros.). But, all in all, I was very impressed. Casting was near perfection, especially Tim Roth and John Simm, relative newcomer Skye Bennett also did very well in what was probably the most difficult role of them all (Mina). Kelly Macdonald was also on good form as the mother, however she didn't get nearly enough face time and a good few of her better moments from the book were omitted.
Luckily that and an amusing moment involved Michael's father desperately searching for the missing aspirin while in the grip of a hangover were the only parts cut from the tale. The ending felt a bit more blatant than it had been in the book, I would've like the 'dancing' scene and Skellig's curing of the baby to have felt more distant and dreamlike as they did in the novel. Still, Skellig himself looked fantastic and the production team did well to steer clear of the temptation of religious iconography, it was as David Almond likely intended it, a heartwarming tale of love, intrigue, the natural and the supernatural. All of those ideas translated perfectly, and I'm glad to see Skellig maintained his ever entertaining penchant for brown ale and 27 and 53.
A beautiful and compelling movie...
I read the book when I was fourteen years old and never forgot it, in fact I loved it so much that I was determined to make a movie after it. Sadly this version was made first, but I'm not angry for it is truly a worthy adaption, I only wish it played in the cinema. Most kid movies nowadays are filled with rot and trash, this film however is packed with good morals and deep characters.
A must see for fans of the book and certainly for any child around or adult for that matter. David Almond should be proud and I hope this film moves into the public's eye, cause a better kids movie I have yet to watch. The graphics are perfect and the book to screenplay format works wonderfully. Tim Roth does an excellent job, who would have thought Ted the bellhop/Mr Orange could have acted as an angel/bird, well the awesome Taurus pulled his weight and shines. The children also are great, in fact the cast and crew together made an amazing film!
100 out 10
As far as children's fantasy films go, "Skellig" is excellent. One of
the best ever, in fact. Unlike a lot of other such adaptations to come
out in the past few years, this film is never overwhelmed by special
effects or action sequences. Rather, it's quite grounded in reality as
natural feeling. There's that certain combination of improbability and
cinematic style that always keeps it from being an experience that
transcends the genre, but that comes with the territory.
Bill Milner (as Michael), who I'd seen previously in "Is Anybody There?" is what focuses the film. He offers up a performance that's at once easy to identify with and totally believable. Skye Bennett, who played his friend, was also very good. She has the kind of brilliance that makes you look forward to seeing more of her. Two actors I'd previously liked a lot (Kelly Macdonald and John Simm) play Michael's parents. Though less significant roles, it's their talent that makes the family aspect of the film so much more convincing.
As for Tim Roth - he is what it all hinges on. The melancholy, fearfulness, emotional expression and power of his performance gives "Skellig" something beyond expectation. He takes the film to a higher level. The director, Annabel Jankel, who'd not previously made anything approaching decent quality, proves herself to be someone capable of telling a good story. I enjoyed this film, and I'd show it to my kids.
If I had any.
Recipe for a good movie. First, as the base, you take an award winning
novel, two awards in this case are better than one, then you add a
generous portion of creativity, from Brignull and Jankell you could
hardly expect anything less, and finally you throw in the right amount
of great talent which the casting people (whoever was responsible) were
not stingy about doing. Follow this process and you get a good movie. I
did not specify what kind, genre or type of movie because the formula
should work with just about all types.
In this case it's about a fantasy/mystery/social drama kind of movie, not at all what attracts the general population of moviegoers. Some movie connaisseurs will find it hard to resist one of the elements of this recipe and if the critics favour the result, then more movie lovers will care to give it a look. Finally when you add the reviews of all those that have seen the movie and like it, you will get a good rating; (44.4% had rated it 8 or more, at the time I wrote this review), which in turn will hopefully attract more and more viewers.
That's not at all why I watched it or why I liked it or even why I'm recommending it by giving it a really good rating. I am a fan of Tim Roth, have been for some time. I am a fan of Kelly Macdonald, just recently since I watched the HBO series 'Boardwalk Empire'; she caught my attention in that series, thus I've been looking for projects where she plays a role and so I stumbled on this fine movie.
Roth and Macdonald play their characters as well as you'd expect, certainly as well as I expected. Bill Milner was the surprise for me as the main and most important part in the movie is played by this fourteen year old. His character is the thread that binds all the parts of this movie and he pulled it off like a pro.
I don't care for fantasy movies and unless a similar set of circumstances occurs, I'll likely not see one for a long time. At the end of this movie I felt good about life just a little bit more and for a fleeting moment. Whatever your reasons are for watching it, the right recipe or the right set of circumstances, in either case, don't miss it. If on the other hand you don't believe the recipe has merit, don't agree with the talent I referred to or are not a fan of any of the key actors, you won't like this movie; also if you have little time to spare and only get to watch a few movies now and then and require a sure mass entertainment product, stick with the tried and true candy-ass movies you always watch and you won't go wrong.
I knew very little about the movie when I stumbled upon it on the TV schedule, but something in the summery seemed right, so I decided to give it a watch. Never regretted my decision. It's acted superbly and directed without a drop of excess, and considering the story this quite an achievement. Hollywood would've made it into a sentimental mush thankfully it's not the case. I was annoyed however with the title given to it in Hebrew which is almost a matter of habit with films translated here, in this case both the name and the summery provided were in-fact an unnecessary spoiler, which the original title avoids unless you already know the book, which is unlikely in Israel. I'm going to look for the book now, it must be a real treat.
Unfortunately at present there isn't the function to give a rating for
Skellig due to it's current status on IMDb, but if there was one I
would rate it 10/10.
I saw Skellig on Sky One last night, and although it was a little on the long side I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish.
Tim Roth was brilliant as Skellig, and he captured the character brilliantly, keeping me interested throughout, which is a hard thing to do these days concerning the amount of rubbish on television at present.
If you missed the airing on Sky One, then definitely find a way to watch this - it was rather unfair for those who do not have Sky and are left with only Freeview, but if all the others watching it enjoyed it as much as myself, I am sure it will soon be out on DVD.
Definitely worth seeing whether you remember the book coming out like myself, or whether you're a young person looking for something compelling to watch.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is a fantastic movie. The performances are so good that this has
to be the most realistic family movie I've ever seen. Even if it
features a prehistoric man with wings. 'Skellig' is a beautiful movie
to watch. It's funny, very sad, and just amazing.
The whole cast is brilliant. I can't say enough good things about John Simm, who gives an awesome performance once again as the father of Michael (the main character). Everything about this movie is beautiful. It's got fine family drama, and of course elements of fantasy. I loved it so much that I read the book after and I must say that the movie is extremely different. The book focuses primarily on 'the Owl Man' whereas the film tells the story not only of this but of Michael's family and his newborn sister, who is sick throughout the movie. However, the film does tell the story with the same wonderful poetry as the book and evokes perhaps even stronger feelings than the book does.
I won't deny that I cried quite a few times in this movie. It's just beautiful - everyone should see it.
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