Monday 15 December 2008

Dean Spanley

Dean Spanley is a delightful film. It is truly one of the best films I've seen in a long time. Last night we sat in Cinema City, transfixed and transported into this marvellous film. It was a most enjoyable evening.

You would imagine that a film based around the notion of re-incarnation would not be a barrel of laughs, but how wrong you would be. This joint New Zealand/British production has a weighty cast headed up by Peter O'Toole. You just can't go wrong with an actor of O'Toole's stature. The man has you entranced, metaphorically filling the whole screen with his presence. This giant can act just with his eyes. Add to that a great performance from the antipodean thespian Bryan Brown, someone who deserves greater international acclaim, and you have yourself a film not to be missed.

I suspect that this film is the sort that is not going to be widely accessible. That's to say that it will be a rare commodity in large cinema chains and smaller towns. That is a shame as it is infinitely better than any Hollywood offering, and at the same time could easily be appreciated by the masses.

Set in England, just after the Boer War, its two main themes are dogs and re-incarnation. I loathe dogs and dismiss re-incarnation as mumbo jumbo (or mumble jumble as Peter O'Toole says in the film), but despite that the film does not suffer one jot.

This is a thoroughly enchanting, very funny and touching film, which I commend you to watch given the opportunity.