The Young Visiters
- TV Movie
- 1h 30min
Nine-year-old Daisy wrote a novel in 1890 about an awkward gentleman meeting a young lady on a train. He invites her to his London home. She wants to meet high society, so he takes her to a ... Read allNine-year-old Daisy wrote a novel in 1890 about an awkward gentleman meeting a young lady on a train. He invites her to his London home. She wants to meet high society, so he takes her to a lord's country estate.Nine-year-old Daisy wrote a novel in 1890 about an awkward gentleman meeting a young lady on a train. He invites her to his London home. She wants to meet high society, so he takes her to a lord's country estate.
Taken from a story written in 1891 by Daisy Ashford when she was a nine year old girl, printed in 1919 and has not been out of print since. I must admit not to have heard of it, but the fact that it has never been out of print shows how good it is. I only know it now from this BBC film and enjoyed the story thoroughly. The writing (from a nine year old!) is great, it shows a great awareness of how important class is in British society and just how subjective and meaningless the whole thing is when it comes down to it. Ethel comes off as quite unpleasant in her desire to climb the social ladder but she is also shown to totally know what she is doing. Again, for a 9 year old to be so aware of the power of a pretty young lady is a frightening thing!
The story is told in a comic style and is humorous without taking away from the story. The main material is quite intelligent and very smart and never really lost my interest, being full of witty interactions and fun characters. Part of the reason for this is the cast. Broadbent does the bumbling clown better than most and is a great choice for the role of Alfred. He plays him a little bit foolish and bumbling (`thank you my regal eagle beagle' he says to Prince Charles) but with a heart of gold underneath and a very human heart at that. His tale is not a very happy one but it is quite touching nonetheless. Laurie is given a reasonable role that he fills pretty well. He has moved away from his out and out comic roots and has become more an actor, but he is humorous here as well. Marshall is good but a bit difficult not to dislike when you see her frantically climbing the social ladder no matter what! Nighy plays the Earl and he really hams it up to good effect. He is pretty funny and he helps the material feel a lot lighter even if it could be played as quite dark.
Overall this is a nice little film from the BBC. It looks great and feels very polished and professional. It is, at heart, a very good tale that is delivered with high production values and a top notch cast all of whom do good work. I'm not sure how the story was meant, but I think the BBC have lightened it deliberately to be more enjoyable because I think another version could bring out the dark issues of race and social climbing - it might be more interesting but it wouldn't have been as enjoyable as this version!
- bob the moo
- Dec 28, 2003