Like The Company of Wolves, an Angela Carter period piece. After the death of her parents, pubescent Melanie (Milmoe) is sent, along with younger brother and sister, to live with her tyrannical Uncle Philip (Bell), a toymaker who doesn't like children playing with his toys. The central relationship between the girl and her coeval Uncle Finn (McKenna) is touching and funny, but juvenile fantasy is an excuse for numerous not so special effects: a block of wood sprouting into leaf, a stone statue springing tears. These seem incongruous, which is not the same as being surreal. In sad contrast to The Company of Wolves, the nastiness is tame, the pace too laid-back, the sex not laid-back enough, and a magical atmosphere singularly lacking.
Cast and crew