Disgraced poet Ted Wallace is summoned to his friend's country manor to investigate a series of unexplained miracles.Disgraced poet Ted Wallace is summoned to his friend's country manor to investigate a series of unexplained miracles.Disgraced poet Ted Wallace is summoned to his friend's country manor to investigate a series of unexplained miracles.
Quaintly captivating, but read the book first.
Interesting case study of the old 'adapting-a-novel to-film' quandary. As usual, the first impression you get is that they've fallen between two stools - taken a subtly crafted and nuanced story and brainstormed how to make it a hit with the daytime-movie-of-the-week crowd. In respect of that ambition, it belly-flops as they almost always do. The not immediately likeable anti-hero's voice-overs rescue it to a large extant, and the unexpected and slightly mind-boggling revelation of the real mechanics behind the supposed miracles also shifts gears and jolts you into a certain reappraisal of what has gone before. It definitely references two films I've seen - "Rueben, Rueben" (1983), for the amusing, lecherous, literary drunk, and "Equus" (1977), for reasons you'd better watch both films to learn. Enjoy it as a curio. Films of unfilmable books are at least interesting celluloid oxymorons. How else could it have been done? One option would have been as a faithful, dutiful transcript of the novel - like the 1981 TV production of 'Brideshead Revisited' - but I don't think budget would have covered that. Maybe - if I were a 'suit' and in charge - scrap all the POV soliloquys - just strip it to the plot and build an Agatha Christie "Poirot' style detective story around that. The actual bones of the plot are strong enough to survive this sort of re-fleshing. But then, I'm not responsible to a boss for ginormous amounts of money spent. Let's not judge. It's definitely a movie that will make you think. Not just a slab of pre-processed Hollywood audience-feed, anyway.
- Mar 15, 2019
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