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Masterpiece Theatre: My Family and Other Animals

DVD

4.2 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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(Jun 27, 2006)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

When the dreary English weather of 1935 gets to be too much for the eccentric Durrell family, they set off for the rustic, sun-drenched Greek island of Corfu, and the unknown. The lively clan is headed by Mrs. Durrell, a middle-aged widow who gives in to the whims of her children and who patiently tolerates their adventures. Her eldest son Larry, a budding avant-garde writer with wild friends, has no regard for his mother, while her second son, Leslie, is a gun-obsessed sportsman who shoots at everything in sight. Her only daughter, Margot, is a teen beauty who changes boyfriends as quickly as she does bathing suits. But her youngest son, 12-year-old Gerald, is the heart and soul of this lively saga. Filling his family°¶s villa with an impressive menagerie of animals and insects, Gerald discovers his life°¶s vocation in nature and animals, as well as his own voice as an author. Based on Gerald Durrell°¶s childhood memoir, Academy Award-nominee Imelda Staunton (Vera Drake), Matthew Goode (Match Point), and Eugene Simon (Casanova) bring My Family and Other Animals humorously to life.

Amazon.com

"Why do we put up with this bloody climate?" moans Larry Durrell during the rainy prelude to this Masterpiece Theater presentation. It's 1935 and 12-year-old Gerald (Eugene Simon, Casanova) is living with his family in Bournemouth. His father passed away years ago. Much like Judi Dench in Mrs. Henderson Presents, his mother (Imelda Staunton, Vera Drake) sees widowhood as a chance to make a fresh start. On Larry's advice, she decides to relocate the brood to sunny Corfu (now Kerkira), so off to Greece they go: Mother, nature-obsessed Gerry, boy-crazy Margot (Tamzin Merchant), gun-happy Leslie (Russell Tovey), and literature-loving Larry (Matthew Goode, Match Point). Minutes after their arrival, a burly fellow named Spiro (Iranian comedian Omid Djalili, Gladiator) takes the quintet under his wing and finds them a roomy villa. Soon Gerald is collecting every manner of animal: turtles, rose beetles, rabbits. The other Durrells embark on adventures of their own, brassy jazz-pop punctuating their every move. Previously produced as a 1987 miniseries by the BBC, this fanciful film boils Durrell's enduring memoir down to a brisk 90 minutes. The structure may be episodic, but the attention to detail--the exotic fauna, the evocative costumes--is praiseworthy. As Gerry notes about his creatures, "They're just like us, aren't they--families. I want to know how they all work. Imagine if they weren't there?" While Gerald would go on to become a naturalist, brother Lawrence would find also fame with The Alexandria Quartet. --Kathleen C. Fennessy


Special features

  • DVD-ROM link to the Masterpiece Theatre website

Product details

  • Actors: Eugene Simon, Imelda Staunton, Tamzin Merchant, Russell Tovey, Matthew Goode
  • Directors: Sheree Folkson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: June 27, 2006
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B000EMG97W
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,281 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
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