6.4/10
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My Life So Far (1999)

Memoir of the lives of a family growing up on a post World War I British estate headed up by a strong disciplinarian, her daughter, her inventor husband, their ten year old son and his ... See full summary »

Director:

Hugh Hudson

Writers:

Denis Forman (book) (as Sir Denis Forman), Simon Donald (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Colin Firth ... Edward
Rosemary Harris ... Gamma
Irène Jacob ... Aunt Heloise (as Irene Jacob)
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio ... Moira
Malcolm McDowell ... Uncle Morris MacIntosh
Robert Norman ... Fraser
Tchéky Karyo ... Gabriel Chenoux (as Tcheky Karyo)
Kelly Macdonald ... Elspeth
Roddy McDonald Roddy McDonald ... Rollo
Daniel Baird Daniel Baird ... Finlay
Jennifer Fergie Jennifer Fergie ... Brenda
Kirstin Smith Kirstin Smith ... Meg (as Kirsten Smith)
Sean Scanlan Sean Scanlan ... Andrew Burns
John Bett John Bett ... Uncle Crawford
Anne Lacey Anne Lacey ... Aunt Eunice
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Storyline

Memoir of the lives of a family growing up on a post World War I British estate headed up by a strong disciplinarian, her daughter, her inventor husband, their ten year old son and his older sister. Through the household comes a number of suitors hoping to impress the young woman, including an aviator. When the elder woman's son shows up at the estate with his French fiancé, everything gets thrown into turmoil. The young boy takes a sudden interest in her sexual allure and his father is disturbed by his own non-Victorian feelings. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Imagine a summer in paradise with nothing to do except everything your heart desires.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content, including some nude pictures | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Miramax

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 August 1999 (Singapore) See more »

Also Known As:

World of Moss See more »

Filming Locations:

Scotland, UK See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$53,937, 25 July 1999

Gross USA:

$635,620

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$635,620
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was shown in a special benefit screening at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival, May 20, 1999, where it was reported: "The child lead is played by an Edinburgh schoolboy Robbie Norman, who was 11 at the time of shooting two years ago. He had never acted professionally before." See more »

Goofs

(at around 53 mins) When Edward crosses stage right to Uncle Morris MacIntosh a reflection of the boom mic is clearly visible in the glass covering the artwork on the back wall. See more »

Quotes

Fraser Pettigrew: [voice-over] I think the Emperor wants to dance with Elspeth because all that's on his mind is slanking. He is French.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Grateful special thanks to the entire Miramax London operation and the people of Stracchur & Cairndow. See more »


Soundtracks

Bagatelle No.25 in A Minor (
Für Elise"), WoO.59"
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano solo by Howard Blake
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A boy's bittersweet memory of his father
4 January 2003 | by MetaLarkSee all my reviews

This is a delightful movie. It's based on a man's nostalgic look backward at a slice of his childhood spent on a Scottish country estate in the 1920s. Narrated by the author as a ten-year-old boy, it recounts a period in which both he and his capricious father learn some important lessons about themselves and about each other.

There is little plot to speak of--just life unfolding variously in its sweetness and pain, often tinged with a delicious whimsy. Be warned, though, that much as you may be disposed to like the father, he is a flawed man; his pathetic and childish attitudes are often painfully embarrassing to the viewer. Also, sexual references permeate this film, and there is a strong suggestion that youthful sexual curiosity ought to be given free reign. Parents with a contrary view might wish to give it a look before showing it to their children.

The cinematography is excellent, deftly making the most of the fine Scottish landscape.

But the music--ah! The music is wonderful, from the first folk-tinged strain, through Beethoven and Saint-Saëns, to the Louis Armstrong ending. Few films are so musically satisfying.

The role of the childish and inarticulate father, Edward Pettigrew, is nicely developed by Colin Firth. Rosemary Harris is his aristocratic, but good-natured mother-in-law, who actually owns the estate inhabited by her daughter and Edward and their progeny; Harris handles her part with great understanding and humour. The children are natural and believable, and the servants are well-picked and quirky--their kitchen conversations add much warmth to this work.

For me, the ending credits revealed a lovely surprise: that the reflections of the boy, Fraser Pettigrew, actually come from a memoir written by Sir Denis Forman. I know that name well; Forman is also the author of my favorite opera guide, a cleverly designed, but funny and irreverent book appropriately titled, "The Good Opera Guide." (But don't be put off by the U.S. title, "A Night at the Opera"; it's a wonderful book by any name.)

Small wonder, then, that this movie has such a fine soundtrack.

Rating: 8 for the movie, 10 for the opera book.


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