Monday, January 28, 2013

A ROTTEN TOMATO: Hope and Glory

I've always wondered why I've never heard much mention of 1987's Best Picture nominee "Hope and Glory". Well, now I know why. To me, this film was a complete misfire. It's just as milquetoast as its title suggests, telling the story of an English boy growing up in London during World War II. Despite the supposed danger of wartime, this is a joyous period of adventure and excitement for this little boy.
The movie lost my interest early, as it's just too jolly for my liking. I didn't have a problem with it focusing on the "coming-of-age" aspects, but when the characters mention how times were better before the war, I expected some more substance. The film doesn't justify the setting of the story against the backdrop of World War II. There was no sense of fear or sadness. On the contrary, the film is filled with puppy love, music and games. In the end, the whole tone of the film makes it seem like a treacly Hallmark TV movie.
Apart from the story issues, the soundtrack and the acting are just as vapid as the screenwriting. The music sounds like it belongs to a film about old ladies enjoying tea in springtime, rather than a meaningful wartime story. The performances are universally awful, as none of the actors bring any nuance to their emotions. As you can probably guess by now, I was very disappointed with this film. It may have picked up 5 Oscar nominations, but it's hardly anything special.

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