All the Little Animals
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Time Out saysProducer Thomas's first feature as director is an ambitious, intriguing but finally botched modern fairy tale (from a book by Walker Hamilton) in which an innocent, brain-damaged boy (Bale), threatened with incarceration by his ogre-like stepfather (Benzali) after the death of his wealthy mother, flees London for the Cornish countryside, where he meets up with an eccentric recluse (Hurt) who goes round burying animals killed in collisions with cars. It's an odd little eco-parable, clearly influenced by Night of the Hunter (the comparison does it no favours), with stilted dialogue, fine 'Scope camerawork, a detached performance by Benzali, and proficient work from Bale and Hurt. A brave effort, certainly different, but all too emphatically an allegory.