"Chris Marshall met the girl he was going to kill on a warm night in early June, when one of the colleges in Oxford was holding its summer ball." A chance meeting with Jenny at an Oxford ... See full summary »
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Jake Scott Bailey
Paul hasn't connected with his daughter for over 10 years, but when their world is turned upside down by an unthinkable act, he has to decide what's more important: doing the right thing or setting things right?
In a hot summer, the lives of the children are about to be changed forever when two girls are found raped and murdered. The children know who the suspect is but knowing that the adults will... See full summary »
"Chris Marshall met the girl he was going to kill on a warm night in early June, when one of the colleges in Oxford was holding its summer ball." A chance meeting with Jenny at an Oxford party leaves seventeen-year-old Chris with hope for a summer romance - and no premonition of trouble. Busy with his job and soon in love with Jenny, whose cheerful surface belies the dark uncertainty of her past, Chris misses all the signs of danger. Before he knows it, he's caught in the sinister web of a criminal whose desire for revenge crushes those who stand in his way. Written by
The film was cast through open casting sessions in Manchester and Oxford, UK. Actors could submit their details through the official website before being asked to audition. The director and Philip Pullman both agreed they wanted new and unknown actors to play the lead roles "Chris" and "Jenny". See more »
I enjoyed the film wholly and while it's been years since I read the original source material, a novel by Philip Pullman originally titled "The White Mercedes," I felt it was a very good adaptation. I must confess that The Butterfly Tattoo/White Mercedes was never a favourite among Pullman's stories (I have very mixed feelings about his contemporary novels in general). In this vein, my complaints with regards to the plot probably echo some of the more negative reviews, although I felt it carried well enough in the film. As a viewer with a vague memory of the original plot and setting, I sometimes found myself trying to remember how characters managed without mobile phones back in the early 90s (this is purely tangential).
Otherwise, I felt the film was one of the better films I've seen this past year. Although the actors were obviously new, they were good, and to my amateur eye, gave very sincere performances. In combination with the beautiful cinematography (I'm glad I was able to see this in widescreen as intended), I gather that was a pretty solid movie on the part of the director Phil Hawkins and the producers. I am even more impressed due to the educational nature of the film project for many of the cast and crew members.
My only major complaint that would prevent me from giving the film a higher rating pertains to the use of flashbacks, especially as employed in the second half of the film. While I have no objection to the use of flashbacks in general, and felt that they were very well employed in the retelling stories of the past, they seemed rather clichéd and unnecessary in the depiction of characters' reflection upon a relationship that had developed over merely days over the course of the film.
Overall a very good film. Congratulations to all those who worked so hard to put it together.
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