Devastated by the death of his true love, photographer Charles Castle (Stephens) withdraws into a life of rational scepticism, calmly plying his trade through the trenches of WWI and its aftermath. When a woman brings him a photograph of her two girls playing with little winged creatures, it seems genuine; and upon investigation, Charles awakens to new possibilities and discovers a flower which, when consumed, provides sensory access to a world of fairies. This first feature (from the book by Steve Szilagyi) is a resolutely modern period drama, a grown-up fairytale for the '90s. One can quibble with the overly precise, determined dialogue, and the dramatic weight Emily Woof's character (Charles' potential real-world lover) must bear in a secondary but pivotal role, but these are minor failings, and director Nick Willing otherwise shows a sure sense of judgment. Aided by a fine cast (notably Kingsley as the girls' vicar father) and, appropriately, stunning photography by John de Borman, it's a fresh, rewarding film, intelligent and very beautiful. (See also FairyTale - A True Story.
Cast and crew
Nick Willing, Chris Harrald
Toby Stephens Emily Woof Frances Barber Phil Davis Ben Kingsley Rachel Shelley Edward Hardwicke