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Posts Tagged ‘whimsey’

As it turns out, this oddly titled movie is in fact perfectly titled, because this little gem is both beautiful and fantastic.

Jessica Brown Findlay is perfect as Bella Brown, a young woman who started life as a foundling baby, raised in a strict Catholic orphanage, and now lives a reclusive life, working in a library, and apparently having no non-essential contact with anyone else.

She very obviously has OCD although this is not specifically stated. But while her house is completely ordered and everything is in exactly it’s right place, the same does not apply to the garden – in fact, so unruly and overgrown has she allowed the garden to become, that she is threatened with eviction if she cannot get it sorted out within a month.

Her curmudgeonly neighbour Alfie (the always brilliant Tom Wilkinson) begrudgingly gets involved, and his former cook the widowed Vernon (Andrew Scott), who leaves Alfie’s employ after one too many insults, starts working for Bella. Alfie and Vernon become the first real friends Bella has ever had, and as the garden takes bloom, so indeed does Bella – but I won’t say more, as I think anyone watching this should see the story unfold and be as captivated by it as I was.

There is something quite magical about this film; it’s whimsical and sweet, and I ended up loving every character. The three main cast members could not be bettered, and there is a small but excellent supporting cast including Anna Chancellor as Bella’s exasperated – and exasperating boss. It left me smiling and I would honestly recommend this film to anyone who wants a film that will make your day better.

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I’ve been a fan of Dave Gorman for a long time – his tv shows and stage shows (I’m lucky enough to have been him live) are always witty and entertaining, and his books are always a good source of amusement. In this book, he basically travels around England playing games with strangers. He plays traditional games such as Cluedo, Ping Pong, Darts and Poker, and some other games which were – to me at least – unknown, such as Khett, Kubb, Smite and erm…Rod Hull’s Emu Game (I know who Rod Hull and Emu are obviously. I did not know that there was such a game. And neither did Dave!)

Gorman is an affable and engaging narrator and while the book is not constantly hilarious, it is amusing and made me laugh out loud on a number of occasions. There is at least one episode which took both myself and Dave Gorman himself by complete surprise, and when you’ve finished the book I am sure you will know which one I mean.

Overall, a lovely read which I would definitely recommend. Also, I now would love to find a local Smite team to join!

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