Danny the Champion of the World
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Time Out saysRoald Dahl takes on green politics in this adaptation of his children's book: screenwriter John Goldsmith introduces the theme of rural conservation and injects topicality into a tale of post-war village life. But the basic conflict is more personal: between loveable poacher William (Irons) and crass, nouveau riche lord of the manor Hazell (Coltrane). Widower William runs a garage and lives in a caravan with his nine-year old son Danny (Samuel Irons). One day their peace is shattered when Hazell decides that all he surveys should become a housing estate, but his plans are thwarted by the fact that William's patch of land is smack in the middle of the estate. In the ensuing battle of wills, we can thrill to the dangers of poaching, and hiss at Hazell's dastardly schemes. Millar directs with authority and loving attention to period detail. There's also a pleasing ring of truth about the relationship built up between real-life father and son Jeremy and Samuel Irons. Family entertainment: cosy, intimate, a touch cloying.