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My Family and Other Animals (2005)

Cast: Imelda Staunton, Matthew Goode, Tamzin Merchant, more...
Director: Sheree Folkson
    see all cast/crew...
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Wgbh Boston
Genre: Comedies, Drama, Foreign, Coming of Age , Dysfunctional Families, UK
Running Time: 90 min.
Languages: English
    see additional details...


GreenCine Member Reviews

The Eccentric British Family at its Best by talltale July 15, 2006 - 8:12 AM PDT
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
Delightful is a much overused word in describing an entertainment (I'm certainly guilty of this) but MY FAMILY AND OTHER ANIMALS wholly deserves the epithet. A veritable vacation on the Greek isle of Corfu, where almost all of this less-than 90-minute movie (made for Public Television's Masterpiece Theatre) takes place, "My Family..." begins in a gloomy Britain in the 1930s, as the Durrell family decides to move to the Greek Isles. Once there, young Gerald's penchant for all things natural takes off, while other family members (including older brother Lawrence, who went on to write the famous "Alexandria Quartet") become involved in their own favorite pastimes: guns for brother Leslie, romance for sister Margot, and general sniping for Larry.

Close to flawlessly directed by Sheree Folkson (who's done mostly British TV work), the film stars the wonderful Imelda Staunton, who plays mom to a fare-thee-well. The rest of the cast is terrific, too. Don't take this version as gospel, however; although brother Larry was supposedly married during this time on Corfu, his wife is nowhere to be found. Based on the book by Gerald, who went on to become a world-class zoologist and writer, this sunny, endearing and immensely enjoyable movie manages to keep tone and characterizations consistent: funny, smart and provocative but never over-the-top.

Eugene Simon, the boy who plays young Gerald, is strikingly beautiful; we'll certainly be seeing more of him. As for Matthew Goode, who plays Lawrence: Just last year, he managed to stand out in this lovely film, help hold up Woody Allen's silly "Match Point" (as the somewhat pompous brother) and practically stole the lesbian romance "Imagine Me and You" out from under its stars. So different in each role as to be unrecognizable (all without the help of odd make-up or fake noses), Mr. Goode is an actor to watch.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.08)
12 Votes
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