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 »
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
This BBC production, shown in the US on Masterpiece Contemporary, stars Trevor Eve (Waking the Dead, among many other fine productions) as Quentin Lester, a senior curator from the National Gallery in London, is given the task of storing the art masterpieces somewhere during repairs on the leaky plumbing at the Gallery which threatened to damage them.
The artworks are taken to a mining cave in Wales where they had been previously stored during WWII for safe keeping until they could be returned one by one to the Gallery. There Lester meets a community of colorful characters along with a young boy whom he believes shares his interest in art. Their teacher, played so charmingly by Eva Myles, introduces herself into his life and eventually Lester becomes an integral part of the community during his stay there.
The movie is full of mishaps and adventures, many of which involve a family who are experiencing some financial difficulties. The children in the family rally around their mother trying to find a way to help the family out during their father's absence resulting in some of the most memorable scenes.
The scenery alone is an artwork unto itself with beautiful vistas frame the village and it's town folk. It is heartwarming how everyone comes alive with the arrival of the art and a lonely, solitary man finds his true self along with them.
The acting here is superb with standout performances by Eve, Myles and especially the young children. Don't miss the elderly sisters played by Margaret John and Gwyneth Petty; they are adorable.
This little movie is fantastical and lovable, reminiscent of movies like "Waking Ned Devine" or "The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain". Enjoy this gem for the treat it is.
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