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Reviews by hastings

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28 reviews/ratings - 2 pages (20 reviews/ratings per page)

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Les aiguilles rouges (2005)

Eight of the leading young actors in France today were brought together in this film, where we see how each character responds to the dangers of the Alpine climb. It is amazing to see Jules Angelo Bigarnet at the age of twelve holding his own in the company of such a galaxy of talent. An excellent film.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 8 / 10
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Los amantes del Círculo Polar (1998)

An unusual love story told in a convoluted way that did not appeal to me, despite some attractive scenes including those involving Peru Medem.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 5 / 10
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Blauvogel (1979)

Sorry, but I found the story shallow, the directing static, the acting wooden, and the depiction of the Indians condescending; a film scarcely good enough for the kids' Saturday morning cinema.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed Star 2 / 10
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Cheaper by the Dozen (2003)

Another run-of-the-mill comedy from Steve Martin with little of substance for the younger actors who are expected just to hang around looking cute.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 4 / 10
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The Choir (1995)

Joanna Trollope's book and a galaxy of well-known actors ensured that this series about a cathedral close was a great success. Anthony Way was the icing on the cake, a good actor with a pleasant singing voice. Also worth a mention are James Hopkins for his excellent singing and Edward Hughes for his freckles and grin.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 8 / 10
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Danny the Champion of the World (1989)

Too much of a cliché to be the greatest of Roald Dahl's books, yet with Jeremy and Sam Irons playing, as in real life, father and son, the tale of the underdog defeating a bullying teacher and a wicked landowner becomes a quite delightful entertainment.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 8 / 10
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Erik of het klein insectenboek (2004)

Jasper Oldenhof does very well contrasting his failure in producing a classroom project with his self-confidence in the world of insects where dream-like sequences introduce amazingly costumed insects. I liked the idea of Erik opening the waistband of his pyjama trousers to show someone his 'sting' to prove that he too was an insect. Lighthearted and colourful, but in passing also educational.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 7 / 10
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The Full Monty (1997)

Loads of humour and yet a sympathetic understanding for the despair of long-term unemployment, the problems of a divorced father, gay relationships, and the poor self-image of the overweight. Add to that some brilliant acting, including by William Snape and his embarrassment at his father's antics, and a pace that never weakens, and you have a truly excellent film.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 9 / 10
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Ginostra (2002)

A good-quality thriller with the added attraction of a belligerent performance by a dark-browed Mattia de Martino, who is ideal as the stubborn boy who refuses to break his silence about his father.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 7 / 10
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Hope and Glory (1987)

An evocation of life in the Blitz as seen by a young boy. I enjoyed the nostalgia even though the film, like life then, was sometimes a little pedestrian.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 6 / 10
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How to Eat Fried Worms (2006)

Bad script-writing and bad directing have replaced all the sublety in the original children's novel (which was very good) with slapstick and stupidly exaggerated facial expressions, so that the youngsters have no opportunity to show their true acting ability. An insult to the intelligence of the actors and of the kids for whom the film was produced.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed Star 3 / 10
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Keeping Mum (2005)

A black comedy with a light touch, originally a US novel but here transferred to the English countryside with a very strong cast. Toby Parkes is good in his small but important part.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 7 / 10
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De kleine blonde dood (1993)

Based on the novel by Boudewijn Büch, the film looks at the relationship between Valentijn and his young son and compares it with Valentijn's own relationship with his dominating father. It therefore relies heavily on the acting ability of the 10-year-old Olivier Tuinier as a very believable lively 6-year-old terror, and to a lesser extant on the older and more subdued Yoran Hensel. Both boys are very good. A bitter-sweet film.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 7 / 10
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Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)

An adaptation - con brio - of an over-the-top series of children's books which relies on the understated acting of the two main children actors led by Liam Aiken, who has developed into a very mature actor.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 7 / 10
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La Lengua de las mariposas (1999)

Manuel Lozano at the age of eight is quite brilliant as a youngster starting school under an inspiring teacher. He conveys the innocence of youth and the delight in studying nature and making friends. But then the arrival of Fascist rebels requires him to change completely, which Manuel does so well. A particularly moving film.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 8 / 10
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Malèna (2000)

A damning story about the way so many people treat those who are different. Giuseppe Sulfaro is outstanding as the exception to the rule. A very moving film.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 9 / 10
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Mon fils à moi (2006)

A remarkable film that relies totally on the brilliant acting of Nathalie Baye and Victor Sévaux, mother and son, as we watch their relationship change completely as the story develops. A tour de force.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 8 / 10
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Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)

Essentially just a vehicle for Robin Williams to show off his character-acting, the film gives little chance for the children to act; Matthew Lawrence however looks exactly the part for the All-American kid next door.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 5 / 10
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Mysterious Skin (2004)

A devastating story about the results of abuse. George Webster is all wide-eyed innocent susceptibility, while Chase Ellison is able to show a blithe disregard for others' feelings behind his smile. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, now an adult, continues to grow in stature as an actor.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 7 / 10
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Peter Pan (2003)

A stunning production that presents the J M Barry play as it should be. Jeremy Sumpter is ideal, still very much a young boy but mature enough to fight Captain Hook on equal terms. His acting opposite Rachel Hurd-Wood is exactly right, showing his fascination for her and the stress of choosing between her and staying a boy. One soon forgot his non-English accent and he clearly put a lot of hard work into his flying and sword-play. Not a lot of time given to the Lost Boys, but what we see is very appealing. An excellent film.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 9 / 10
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