In 1921, England is overwhelmed by the loss and grief of World War I. Hoax exposer Florence Cathcart visits a boarding school to explain sightings of a child ghost. Everything she believes unravels as the 'missing' begin to show themselves.
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In 1921, in London, the arrogant and skeptical Florence Cathcart is famous for exposing hoaxes and helping the police to arrest con artists. The stranger Robert Mallory tells her that the headmaster of a boarding school in Rookford had invited her to travel to Cumbria to investigate a ghost that is frightening the pupils to death. He also tells that many years ago there was a murder in the estate and recently pupil Walter Portman had died. The reluctant Florence finally accepts to go to Cumbria. On arrival, she is welcomed by governess Maud and the boy Thomas Hill. Soon Florence discovers what had happened to Walter and then the students, teachers and staff are released on vacation, and Florence remains alone with Robert, Maud and Tom in the school. Florence is ready to leave the boarding school when strange things happen, leaving Florence scared. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
(at around 20 mins) When Miss Cathcart is investigating the classroom where many of the ghost sightings occurred, for a brief moment on the chalkboard behind her there is a quotation that says: "They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old." This is a line from the poem "For the Fallen" by British poet Laurence Binyon. Published in 1914, it was meant as an ode to the British soldiers dying in the First World War. This hints, among other things, at connections to the boys who were shown earlier in the film in the school photos, many of whom presumably died during the War. See more »
When Florence is sitting in the kitchen talking to the boy, the blanket she is wrapped in moves up and down between shots. See more »
The Awakening is pretty much what you would expect it to be. It's well made with gorgeous cinematography and strong performances from its cast. And the story if unsurprising is solidly made and well told. The film is directed well and builds a nice amount of suspense throughout. At times its confusing because of the sheer amount of convoluted ideals being thrown around. The story concerns an educated young woman who debunks ghost theories. She is approached by the headmaster of a school to help out with a problem concerning the boys being frightened there. After some convincing she arrives at the location and begins her investigation. Many secrets are discovered and it builds to a somewhat expected finale. For those of you who've seen the brilliant films The Others, The Orphanage and The Devil's Backbone there's not much new here. Still it's competently made and there is a nice slow burn of suspense even culminating in some surprising scares and plot twists. Overall it's a old fashioned classic spook fest with a bit of wit and borrowed imagination from slightly better films. A bonus scene features sexy Dominic West in a solid performance shedding his clothes which is much appreciated but unnecessary like the other "bathtub" scene. And there seems to be niche with that running through the proceedings it's almost as if the people involved with making the film knew they had something that wasn't the most original concept so they threw in unnecessary things to kind of lead you astray it's a little manipulative on their part but keeps you engaged as a viewer and you don't feel too cheated at the films conclusion. Overall it's an elegant, solid but expected ghost story.
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