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Wondrous Oblivion

4.3 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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(Mar 20, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

Eleven-year-old David Wiseman lives with the singular dream of being a cricket star, but much to the dismay and ridicule of his classmates, he is all passion and no skill. The son of a traditional Jewish family living in the racial and cultural turbulence of 1960’s South London, David and his world are shaken by the unexpected arrival of the Samuels, a lively and big-hearted Jamaican family. When Dennis Samuels (Delroy Lind, THE CIDAR HOUSE RULES) erects a cricket net in his backyard, David is ecstatic. However, David’s enthusiasm is not shared by all in his racially-charged community and the Wisemans find themselves

Special Features

  • Commentary by director Paul Morrison
  • Featurette
  • Trailer

Product Details

  • Actors: Sam Smith, Leagh Conwell, Dominic Barklem, Jo Stone-Fewings, Emily Woof
  • Directors: Paul Morrison
  • Writers: Paul Morrison
  • Producers: David Kosse, Jill Tandy, Jonny Persey, Kevin Loader, Lesley Stewart
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Palm Pictures / Umvd
  • DVD Release Date: March 20, 2007
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000M7XRCO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,522 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Wondrous Oblivion" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
OK, so as an American you don't know anything about Cricket. That's OK. What you need to know, the film gives you because it really isn't about the game, it's about families, friendship, and racism. Set in the 1960s London, but not tied to a specific year, we get to know David Wiseman (played invitingly by Sam Smith) as a boy full of daydreams, a tremendous love for Cricket, and absolutely no ability. He can't catch, can't throw, can't run, and can't hit. Of course, this means that his friends at the school he attends (we would call it a private school in America) make fun of him. David doesn't care because he loves the game so much he is oblivious to the state of his skills. The coaches finally put him on the team to change the scoreboard (there are lots of runs in Cricket).

He lives in a working class neighborhood with its tiny yard, and the row houses mean that the neighbors are all busybodies, too. Being the only Jewish family in the neighborhood they get treated differently, but coldly polite since it is fewer than 20 years since the end of the World War II and the holocaust. David's father has a little shop that consumes all of his time and attention. In one scene, the family is sitting around the table making cushions to sell in the shop.

David's mother, Ruth (Emily Woof), is clearly younger than the father and seems almost too pretty to be the wife of a small time shopkeeper. This becomes an important fact in the story. She is a person of dreams and emotions. And while she is devoted to her family and especially her children, the father's obsession with work denies her the emotional fulfillment she clearly needs.

A new family is moving in next door to them and somehow the neighborhood makes it the Wiseman's responsibility as to who moves in.
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Format: DVD
"Wondrous Oblivion" is a movie about coming to terms with differences. We are all different, yet deep within, we are all alike. Powerful proof of this is the relation between the boy in the movie (a white Jewish kid living in a Jewish neighborhood in Britain, some time in the sixties) and the black man living next door (a Jamaican family man who recently moved in). Both share a love for cricket and the sport unites them in the middle of an odd circumstance, where the rest of the neighbors embark on a racist crusade against the newly arrived black family. The boy's family overcomes their initial prejudice and stand up firm for their neighbors and what's right, as they realize how much alike they all are, in spite of the difference in the color of their skins.

Though there are a couple of moments that may not be the most appropriate for children under 13, the movie in general is a great lesson in tolerance and friendship for everyone in the family.
1 Comment 15 of 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
I am always looking for a good, coming of age movie to share with my kids, ones without the usual violence and special effects to knock you off your seat. Wondrous Oblivion delivers this and so much more as it goes straight for your heart. It's a coming of age drama with some very touching moments as two families learn more about themselves than they may have originally cared to. One family, Jews touched by the horrors of the Holocaust face discrimination in their small English town but then must face the darkness of their own prejudice when a black family moves next door. I was impressed with David's father, Victor, a man of deep conviction who struggled in silence with threats against his family while dealing with his own uneasiness and fear of the black family his son is now becoming so attached to. What I originally interpreted as stubbornness soon reveals itself as an internal conflict within his own soul.

This is a wonderful movie for families and I highly recommend watching it with your children. The lesson they will learn from this beautiful movie will last a lifetime.
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Format: DVD
WONDROUS OBLIVION may seem a puzzling title for this film about racism, coming of age, and understanding and acceptance, but if it is meant to tag the feelings with which the viewer is left after the film, the phrase describes it well. Some critics have labeled this a cross between BILLY ELLIOTT and FAR FROM HEAVEN and while that comparison may be a bit too heavy, the films share many things in common. Writer/director Paul Morrison has stirred the pot of nostalgia with all the right ingredients the result is a film that should bring a very large audience to its feet.

The time is the 1960s in London in a neighborhood shared by Jews and other faiths. One family in particular, the Wisemans, live comfortably as German immigrants whose elder family members died in Nazi Germany. David Wiseman (Sam Smith) is eleven years old, and preoccupied with cricket, a sport for which he collects souvenir cards and idolizes players yet who has no skills at playing the game, but stays with his passion with the school team as a score keeper. His father Victor (Stanley Townsend) is all business, and his mother Ruth (Emily Woof) is a kind woman who seems to need more attention than her husband offers. Into the house next door moves a family from Jamaica - Dennis (Delroy Lindo), his wife and two daughters are happy people and play Jamaican music while they construct an odd entity in the tiny back yard, a construction that ends up being a cricket court as Dennis and his daughter are devoted cricket players.

In no time the shy David introduces himself and shortly becomes invited to join in learning how to play cricket with the warmly loving Dennis and family.
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