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BFI 100: 90 – Hope and Glory (1987)

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Continuing the ill-fated and now resurrected 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. This time, John Boorman directs Hope and Glory. I’ll try to keep these short updates relatively spoiler-free and 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 move me. Strange given the cast – David Hayman making his second appearance in a row on this list after appearing in number 91, My Name is Joe – but the acting felt wooden and didn’t raise more than a smile throughout. That said, the film is not without charm. Sebastian Rice-Edwards is engaging 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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