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Customer Review

625 of 635 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good buy: Eight star-studded Miramax Britflicks from 1994-99 in widescreen on 2 discs, October 25, 2012
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This review is from: British Cinema Collection: 8 Acclaimed Films (DVD)
All but two of these eight are movies I'd seen on the big screen years ago. Four I'd liked well enough to know I'd want to see them again from time to time--especially Oscar Wilde's "An Ideal Husband," if only for Rupert Everett's hilarious performance. Also Judi Dench as Queen Victoria in "Her Majesty, Mrs. Brown" and Vanessa Redgrave's middle-aged war with a very young Uma Thurman for the affections of Edward Fox in "A Month by the Lake", and "My Life So Far," based on Sir Denis Forman's memoir of his Scottish childhood*, with Colin Firth as his roving-eyed father.

The two I didn't much like the first time I saw them I liked even less the second time. ("Restoration" with Robert Downey Jr. and "The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain" with Hugh Grant) but I suspect that's a minority viewpoint.

The two I was seeing here for the first time made this purchase well worth the buy all on their own. "Sweet Revenge" with Helena Bonham Carter, Sam Neill and Kristin Scott Thomas is an absolute hoot and I can't believe I'd never heard of it. "Tom and Viv" with Willem Dafoe and Miranda Richardson tells the sad story of author T. S. Eliot's angst-ridden first marriage, back in the days when women with "female" problems were diagnosed as mentally ill and carted off to the looney bin.

There are no extras--no subtitles, no closed-captioning, no scene indexes. Also, the product info above gives the impression that Gerard Butler is Dench's co-star in "Mrs. Brown." Not so. Dench's co-star is Billy Connolly. Butler plays a supporting role as Connolly's brother.

*Seeing "My Life So Far" again reminded me how very much I've loved the book it's based on, Son of Adam, now also sold under the title My Life So Far. I wanted to see if Sir Denis had continued on with his bio and indeed he had, with a World War II memoir TO REASON WHY that I've just ordered.

Addenda 12/31/12: Also, Firth fans please note that, despite his dominance on the cover of this set, he is in only one of these 8 movies and, like all the adult roles in it, plays a supporting role to the wonderful child actor Robert Norman who plays the lead.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 16, 2012 8:01:48 AM PST
GatorFan says:
If your dislike of "The Englishman Who Went Up A Hill and Came Down a Mountain" is a minority viewpoint, then I, too, am in the minority. The first time I tried to watch it, I hated it so much that couldn't finish watching it. Thinking that I must have been tired or grumpy on that occasion, I tried again. The second time I watched it, I almost hated Hugh Grant by the end of the movie .... and I love Hugh Grant movies!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 16, 2012 12:11:31 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 16, 2012 1:28:58 PM PST
Sharon Isch says:
GatorFan: So it's not just me? Whew! Hugh's mannerisms that haven't bothered me in other movies, bugged me here. Also my one-eighth Welsh blood was hugely annoyed that the English movie makers were making the townspeople look like yokels. And it especially bugged me that the two leading "Welsh" roles had been given to Irish actors I otherwise admire, but felt were miscast here.

Posted on Feb 3, 2013 8:29:18 AM PST
S. Byars says:
I too loved the movie My Life So Far, and didn't know about the books, which I ordered after reading your review! Thank you, I am looking forward to reading them!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 4, 2013 8:07:59 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jul 20, 2013 2:40:17 PM PDT
Sharon Isch says:
S. Byars: I'll be looking forward to your reviews on the books. I didn't review the "My Life So Far" book because I read it shortly after I saw the movie for the first time, but long before I started reviewing on Amazon. Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to some company on the review page for "To Reason Why."

Would have loved to have seen that child actor in something else; he was so good. But according to IMDB, "My Life.." was his only movie...so far.

Posted on Apr 27, 2013 12:32:07 PM PDT
Sharon Isch says:
Sidenote: If you like Billy Connolly in "Mrs. Brown," I think you'll like him even more in "Quartet," the 2013 movie about retirees at a home for retired musicians. He's a hoot in that.

In reply to an earlier post on May 4, 2013 1:28:38 PM PDT
Thanks for the reminder of "Quartet"...Frankly, I thought Billy Connolly deserved an Oscar nod for "Mrs. Brown" even more than the redoubtable Ms. Dench. And I love Dame Judi!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 20, 2013 2:39:24 PM PDT
Sharon Isch says:
Re "My Life So Far" and "To Reason Why": I've only just learned that Sir Denis died at the age of 95 on February 24, 2013. Via Google, you can read some really interesting interviews with him, listen to interviews with him on Desert Island Discs and find obits from the New York Times and all the major London papers. I've read several and find them all interesting.
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