Monday, January 28, 2013

Quiet, Quirky, and Worth Seeing

That is Toa Fraser's adaptation of Lord Dunsany's novel, Dean Spanley (2008), a film which was distributed directly to cable.

Set in Edwardian England, Dean Spanley is a wise, witty, and understated story of familial love, loss, and reincarnation.

Peter O'Toole headlines the dream cast as a wickedly sharp-tongued man who, rather than facing his grief over a son who was killed at war, chooses to mourn the disappearance of a dog he had in his youth. Jeremy Northam is O'Toole's surviving son, who patiently tolerates his father's barbs and denial,
Sam Neill plays the title character, a soft-spoken clergyman with an interest in the soul's ability to  transmigrate, and a taste for the Hungarian wine, Tokaj.  However, whenever he drinks the wine, he recalls a former a dog.

And Bryan Brown is Northam's slightly mysterious friend and supplier of the magical wine.

If you have a taste for a very human period fantasy, with wry touches of the surreal,  and genuine warmth, see Dean Spanley.

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