When the National Gallery in London is flooded the Director, Quentin Lester, decides to transfer the entire collection to the Welsh caves where the collection was stored during World War II... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Angharad Stannard
Mr Davis
Sam Davies ...
Dylan Hughes (as Samuel Davies)
Mari Ann Bull ...
Minnie Hughes
Nicola Reynolds ...
Bethan Hughes
Daffyd Hughes
Marnie Pope
Margaret John ...
Edith Sellwood
Gwenyth Petty ...
Edna Sellwood
Gwyneth Keyworth ...
Marie Hughes
Matthew Aubrey ...
Tom Ellis
James Woolley ...
National Gallery Director
Aneirin Hughes ...
Petrol Rep


When the National Gallery in London is flooded the Director, Quentin Lester, decides to transfer the entire collection to the Welsh caves where the collection was stored during World War II. The entire operation is supposed to be secret and the cover story is that they are a mining company looking to reopen the mines, good news to the economically depressed town nearby. It takes local school teacher, Angharad Stanner, all of a day however to learn what is really going on. She soon has the entire school at the site taking a tour but Quentin's refusal to open any of the packing crates leads to something of a falling out. Gradually, Quentin gets to know the locals, particularly the Hughes family. In the end, everyone benefits and learns from each other. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

26 December 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

En passion för Mr. Lester  »

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Based on a real story from WWII. See more »

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User Reviews

Good Acting amid Puzzling Script about Art and Artlessness
26 December 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This begins at London's National Gallery, at which a waterline break floods the museum, causing National Gallery Director (James Woolley) and his assistant, Marnie Pope (Nina Sosanya), to close shoppe for the day.

Quentin Lester (Trevor Eve), a painting and fine arts connoisseur, who operates a slate mine along with partner Reynolds (Guy Henry), returns to his rural community, located somewhere between London and Wales.

Angharad Stannard (Eve Myles), a bicycling schoolteacher, also presents a great deal of knowledge regarding the fine arts and seems to encounter Quentin just about everywhere he turns, as he, in turn, encounters several of her pupils around the community, including the Hughes children, who play heavily into the film's theme of desertion and poverty, as they assist their mother at her roadside diner, Cafe Da, at which the uncultured aspiring artist Tom Ellis (Matthew Aubrey) also assists, by designing a window display, and helping out with the children in his own special way.

Bethan Hughes (Nicola Reynolds) has been separated from husband Daffyd Hughes (Mark Lewis Jones), who has disappeared to London to attempt to earn provisions for the family, consisting of Marie Hughes (Gwyneth Keyworth), their elder daughter, Dylan Hughes (Sam Davies), their elder son, Minnie Hughes (Mari Ann Bull) their younger daughter, and Max Hughes (Ruby Lewis) or Max Hughes (Ella Lewis), as the baby, whom Marie especially supervises.

Mr. Davis (Robert Pugh), who has lost his lost 3-year-old in the lake after an accident on the pier, serves as the town butcher, and, along with Dylan Hughes, Angharad Stannard and Quentin Lester, also holds an interest in art.

Edna Sellwood (Gwenyth Petty) and Edith Sellwood (Margaret John) reside in the community as elderly sisters, who drive to the park to sell a painting of Edna as a child, which they report their father has painted, even though Edna, now blind, is unable to steer their automobile, and so Edith holds the steering wheel, while Edna operates the accelerator and brakes, or at least Edith tries to control the vehicle, which town-folk fear when the sisters Sellwood approach outdoor gatherings.

PC Gary Evans (Tim Treloar) inspects the Hughes diner to inform Bethan that 2,000 pounds are due in taxes, while his young daughter, Jade Evans (Jodi Bird) tauts Dylan, and while another Gary, listed as "Gary," (Anton Saunders) serves as a different officer.

After Quentin experiences difficulty in ordering out-of-season lamb from Mr. Davis at Love Meat Tender, chickens cross the road at Cafe Da, causing Quentin to meet Dylan, who helps to retrieve the fowl although a rooster, Donatello, enters Quentin's automobile, to attack him once he reaches a lamb crossing and is forced to stop his vehicle.

Dylan then catches up with Quentin to rescue Donatello, impressing Quentin with his knowledge of Donatello, Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael, and plans to discuss the classic artists at a later time. Angharad also catches up with Quentin on her bicycle, which she often does, also to discuss the arts and other topics, such as her schoolchildren and the slate mine.

But when Angharad takes the children on a field trip to the slate mine, Quentin and Reynolds become cautious that they might face danger without their hard-hats even though the schoolchildren already brought them along, but Quentin also expresses caution when Tom and the children discover Quentin's underground art gallery down beneath the mine.

Well, Angharad expresses a disagreement with Quentin over his attitude toward the children's mishandling fine paintings beneath the slate mine or something like that, and so any hint of romance between the lovely schoolteacher and the slate miner who knows his art history is quickly nipped in the bud, or at least until he somehow surprises her with a lobster dinner deep in his underground slate mine gallery amid a wealthy display of illuminated paintings, which, of course, ought to surprise just about anyone.

And when Little Minnie schemes to champion Dylan's cause, she cleverly stifles the slate mine's security system to sneak Dylan into the slate mine gallery to switch a valuable Van Gogh with a collage of snapshots which Maria has taken of Baby Max to immortalize him the way Edna Sellwood's late father once did, before the Van Gogh gets mixed up with the painting of young Edna.

Somehow, this Hughes family cannot afford provisions, but they certainly stock plenty of photography film and art supplies at Cafe Da.

And now, on the eve of Dylan's birthday, Bethan attempts to locate Daffyd, not for her sake, but for the sake of the children, so it just may be up to Quentin to save the day for the Hughes family and for Angharad and her other schoolchildren, and the sisters Sellwood, plus the slate mine and the National Gallery, and, perhaps, the remainder of the impoverished community, which really needs to learn a few pointers on the arts.

The cast is rounded out by Olwen Medi as Mrs. Porty, Livia Hughes as London Schoolchild, Melanie Abbott as Reporter, Frank Cottrell Boyce as Car Boot Dealer, Aneirin Hughes as Petrol Representitive, and Sian Boudreaux as Florida Terrible Jones.

Comment: Now, I haven't seen Trevor Eve since "MSW: Tinker, Tailor, Liar, Thief" (1992), but he, Eve Myles, Nicola Reynolds, Robert Pugh, Guy Henry and Matthew Aubrey handle their material especially well here, as well as do several of the character actors and child actors.

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