Newly released on DVD from director Julian Fellowes and Ealing Studios and Fragile Filmes comes a story that takes us “From Time to Time”.
This film tells the story of Tolly (Alex Etel), a young man living in 1940s England who is sent to stay with his grandmother Mrs. Oldknow (Maggie Smith). Living at the Green Knowe Estates they all wait for news of his father missing in action.
Tolly learns his grandmother is going to lose the family estate because there are no funds left to maintain it. She is grateful along with housekeeper Mrs. Tweedle (Pauline Collins), and caretaker Boggis (Timothy Sprall) for the time they have left on the estate.
Much to his surprise, Tolly has the ability to see into the estates past and its memories to meet a young blind girl named Susan (Eliza Bennett). Susan and her brother Sefton (Douglas Booth) are total opposites. Susan is a loving young girl and her brother is manipulative and cruel. Especially when her father brings home the young stow away Jacob (Kwayedza Kureya).
As the past meets the present, it becomes clear that Tolly, Susan and Jacob are all intertwined and as the secrets of Green Knowe Estates become apparent, it can change everything!
FINAL WORD: Etel is an interesting choice as Tolly. He starts out a very hurt and stiff young man who is not only upset about his father but feeling abandoned by his mother. Once he learns about the family and his grandmother he is more relaxed in the role. If this young man looks familiar perhaps you remember him from a lovely film I love called “The Water Horse” in 2007.
Smith as Mrs. Oldknow is as lovely as always. She is one of the actresses that I find not only seems to choose the most interesting roles but, keeps on doing it! Her role as Prof. McGonagall has not diminished her ability to tell a story with her words and her actions.
Collins as Mrs. Tweedle is also wonderful in her role as the housekeeper who is not quite the optimist that Tolly seems to be. Sprall as Boggis is a very calm role for this very busy actor.
Bennett is lovely as Susan and Kureya as Jacob is a strong role that could have easily turned into something distasteful. Instead, he is a strong young man who looks past the inabilities of others to his friendship with Susan. I totally enjoyed that.
Other cast include: Dominic West as Caxton, Carice van Houten as Maria Oldknow, Jenny McCracken as Mrs. Gross, Rachel Bell as Perkins, and Hugh Bonneville as Captain Oldknow.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give “From Time to Time” three tubs and a half of popcorn out of five. This truly is a lovely film that engages the viewer from past to present in a world of secrets to discovering the true meaning of family.
The era is just beautifully done cinematically with the meshing of the two time periods. The costuming as well as the eras is equally as stunning with a timeless story. This film is one I highly recommend to families as it’s destined to become a classic.
In the end – they must unlock the secrets to the past!