Thursday, September 10, 2009

Dean Spanley

Toa Fraser's adaption of Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett's 'My Talks With Dean Spanley' is one of those movies that is both whimsical and profound. Set in post-Boer War England, it blends the mundane and the mystical to produce a heart-warming and thought-provoking movie.

Peter O'Toole is superb as Fisk Senior, a self-contained, arrogant old man.

Sam Neill portrays the eccentric Rev Spanley with rare conviction and dignity as a man who reverts to his former life as a dog after a couple of glasses of his favourite tipple.

Jeremy Northam, who plays Fisk Senior's long-suffering son, is an excellent everyman, aware of his father's failings but determined to remain in contact with him.

The pace of the film borders on ponderous, relying on the superb acting of its cast to drag you from scene to scene.

I find the concept of reincarnation baffling and repugnant, and yet still found the film intriguing and illuminating. If you can contemplate a film bereft of naked bodies, guns, car-chases and profanity, this is definitely one I would recommend.

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Not a lot of people know this but (NALOPKTB™)... Plunkett's 'The King of Elfland's Daughter' inspired the film Stardust.


Conrad Gempf said...

I think, actually, more people will know the author Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett by the name under which he published: Lord Dunsany. Even those who've not read his work may recognize him as a major influence on HP Lovecraft.

As well as writer, he was also a notable chess player and allegedly once held chess legend Capablanca to a draw.

brett jordan said...

thanks conrad... although i think you may be considerably over-estimating the my blog visitors' reading level :-)