Thursday, July 12, 2007

Hope and Glory (1987)

An affectionate reverie about war, childhood, and British stoicism, John Boorman's Hope and Glory is the veteran filmmaker's recollection of the bombing of London during World War II. Set on the British home front during the early days of the war, this episodic movie shows the blitz through the eyes of seven-year-old Billy Rohan (Sebastian Rice Edwards). At the war's outset, Billy finds himself alone in a house full of women, as all the men are called off to join the war effort. With wide-eyed wonder and an outsized imagination, Billy sees the war as a grand diversion, an extension of his world of knights, tin soldiers, and war games. As bombs fall and houses burn, Billy's mother (Sarah Miles) struggles to keep the family together in her husband's absence. Even as Billy seeks to escape the harem of aunts and sisters, Dawn (Sammi Davis), his older sister, falls for a Canadian soldier who gets her pregnant. After the Rohans' home catches fire (not, ironically, as the result of a bomb blast, but from a domestic accident), the family is forced to move in with Billy's cantankerous grandfather in the countryside, where they spend the rest of their summer and enjoy an unusual idyll amid the raging war. Nominated in 1987 for a Best Picture Academy Award, Hope and Glory proved to be another high point in the career of the remarkably protean Boorman. ~ Elbert Ventura, All Movie Guide

Running Time:
113 mins

This is a classic at least for myself. I watched it almost 3 complete times after receiving it from Blockbuster.

I loved the story of a young boy that enjoys life in the face of great tragedies and hardships. But I do question that the two teenage girls seem to not exhibit the usual types that are not as care free as these two and are willing to see the fun even in the face of danger. Most that I have met like to have a stable lifestyle.

But the whole family finds enjoyment in the most simple of circumstances. The teacher of the school does remind us of the teacher in "All Quiet on the Western Front" with the gung ho attitude of going to war.

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