Sunday, 31 January 2010

Dean Spanley - a must-see movie

Last week the film club showed Dean Spanley. A charming, unusual and oddly moving film set in England just after the Boer War, with no romance, sex or violence. Brilliantly acted by Peter O'Toole, Jeremy Northam and Sam Neill, to name the main performers, but all of the small cast were excellent. If I tell you it is about a churchman, Dean Spanley, who believed he used to be a dog in his previous life you'll fear it is fey or sentimental, but the opposite is true. It also deals delicately with grief and with the father/son relationship in those days of extra-stiff upper lips.
Peter O'Toole gives a master performance as a curmudgeonly sarcastic old man - he has some brilliantly amusing lines.
Do get the DVD. It's a tragi-comedy but ultimately a feel-good film - for grown-ups, by the way, as most of it would go over children's heads. Here's a review.
(photo credit Norwich Cathedral where some of the scenes were set in this Anglo-NZ production. Here's more about the locations)

5 comments:

Debs said...

I like the sound of this film. I'm definately going to get the DVD. Thanks.

LindyLouMac said...

Thanks for another of your great film recommendations.

JJ Beattie said...

Yep, I love the sound of this movie too. I've looked it up on imdb.com and now I'm adding it to my list of must buys...

Thanks Susie.

callmemadam said...

Thanks for this review. I'll watch Peter O'Toole in anything.

Nan said...

It's not available from netflix yet but it is listed as a 'save' which means it must be coming sometime. Years ago, a friend of ours said she'd like to come back as one of our cats or dogs, 'cause they had such a good life. :<)