4 December 2017

Whatever Happened to Harold Smith?

Whatever Happened to Harold Smith? 1999
  • Director: Peter Hewitt
  • Based on the book: no
  • Cast: Tom Courtney, Michael Legge, Laura Fraser, Stephen Fry, Amanda Root, Lulu, David Thewliss, Matthew Rhys, James Corden, Mark Williams
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor in:
    • Tom Courtney – Unforgotten, Quartet, Flood, Whatever Happened to Harold Smith?, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Doctor Zhivago, The Loneliness of a Long Distance Runner
    • Laura Fraser – A Knight’s Tale, Titus
    • Stephen Fry – The Hobbit, Sherlock Holmes Game of Shadows, Alice in Wonderland, Extras, V for Vendetta, Tristram Shandy, Bright Young Things, Gosford Park, Longitude, Wilde, Cold Comfort Farm, Jeeves and Wooster, Peter’s Friends, Black Adder, A Fish Called Wanda, A Handful of Dust
    • Amanda Root – Rose and Maloney, Daniel Deronda
    • Lulu – To Sir with Love
    • David Thewliss – Legend, Macbeth, The Theory of Everything, Harry Potter, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, Kingdom of Heaven, The Big Lebowski, Naked, Life Is Sweet
    • Matthew Rhys – Very Annie Mary, Titus
    • Mark Williams – Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Hustle, Merlin, Stardust, Tristram Shandy, Shackleton, Shakespeare in Love, The Prince of Jylland
  • Why? Tom Courtney
  • Seen: Twice before. Now 26 November 2017      

       One good Courtney deserves another. We recently watched The Dresser and we are now very much in the Courtney mood.
       Sheffield teenager Vince (Legge) works in a law office for obnoxious Nesbitt (Thewliss). He is in love with Joanna (Fraser) whose father (Fry) is a pedantic moralistic university professor. Vince’s father Harold (Courtney) lives a placid quiet life with his pipe and his telly. Vince’s mum (Lulu) likes, well, action, nights out, boyfriends.
       Quite normal if eccentric families. Except that Harold’s magic can stop clocks and pacemakers.
       Vince loves disco and fancies himself John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. Then he falls for a mysterious punk girl and becomes an avid anarchist.
       Harold is arrested for the mysterious circumstances surrounding the pacemaker deaths. Vince’s boss – who absolutely does not believe in magic – is his solicitor.
       It’s all completely daft. And absolutely… can one use words like this on a self-respecting movie blog??...adorable.
       How can one not love a film with Lulu, Stephen Fry, David Thewliss and Tom Courtney? And Vince and Johanna are sweethearts. How can we have not seen much more of them?
       Do not miss this gem!

4 ½ * of 5   

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