BFI 100Movies

BFI 100: 90 – Hope and Glory (1987)

Here we continue, what will probably eventually become known as, the ill-fated journey of watching each of the British Film Institute’s 100 best films of the 20th Century. Starting at 100 and working my way to Orson Welles’ The Third Man at number 1. I’ll try to keep these blogs relatively spoiler free and I’ll consider them only a small record of moving through this series.

© Columbia Pictures

As charming a film as John Boorman’s Hope and Glory (90) is, I must admit I couldn’t connect with it. It’s a light comedy set in London during the blitz of the second world war and as endearing as it is, for reasons I can’t articulate well, it didn’t particularly grab me. The acting felt oddly wooden (strange given the cast) and it didn’t make me smile or laugh much throughout. That said, the film is not without its charm. Sebastian Rice-Edwards is great as Billy, the young boy at the centre of the film, and Ian Bannen is excellent – if a little ridiculous – as Grandfather George. It’s a pleasant enough tale of stoicism and adolescence during wartime but I expected more from the critical acclaim the film has received.

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