Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Sam Smith, Leagh Conwell, Dominic Barklem, Jo Stone-Fewings, Emily Woof
Director: Paul Morrison
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama, Kids & Family
Eleven-year-old David Wiseman lives with the singular dream of being a cricket star, but much to the dismay and ridicule of his classmates, he is all passion and no skill. The son of a traditional Jewish family living in ... more »
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Member Movie Reviews
Laurie W. from HILLSBORO, OH
Reviewed on 10/27/2009...
I really loved it!
Carolyn Rampone | Plantation, FL USA | 03/22/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am always looking for a good, coming of age movie to share with my kids, ones without the usual violence and special effects to knock you off your seat. Wondrous Oblivion delivers this and so much more as it goes straight for your heart. It's a coming of age drama with some very touching moments as two families learn more about themselves than they may have originally cared to. One family, Jews touched by the horrors of the Holocaust face discrimination in their small English town but then must face the darkness of their own prejudice when a black family moves next door. I was impressed with David's father, Victor, a man of deep conviction who struggled in silence with threats against his family while dealing with his own uneasiness and fear of the black family his son is now becoming so attached to. What I originally interpreted as stubbornness soon reveals itself as an internal conflict within his own soul.
This is a wonderful movie for families and I highly recommend watching it with your children. The lesson they will learn from this beautiful movie will last a lifetime."
A movie to feel good about
Manny Hernandez | Bay Area, CA | 03/24/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Wondrous Oblivion" is a movie about coming to terms with differences. We are all different, yet deep within, we are all alike. Powerful proof of this is the relation between the boy in the movie (a white Jewish kid living in a Jewish neighborhood in Britain, some time in the sixties) and the black man living next door (a Jamaican family man who recently moved in). Both share a love for cricket and the sport unites them in the middle of an odd circumstance, where the rest of the neighbors embark on a racist crusade against the newly arrived black family. The boy's family overcomes their initial prejudice and stand up firm for their neighbors and what's right, as they realize how much alike they all are, in spite of the difference in the color of their skins.
Though there are a couple of moments that may not be the most appropriate for children under 13, the movie in general is a great lesson in tolerance and friendship for everyone in the family."
A good story about families, friendship, and race that uses
Craig Matteson | Ann Arbor, MI | 03/20/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"OK, so as an American you don't know anything about Cricket. That's OK. What you need to know, the film gives you because it really isn't about the game, it's about families, friendship, and racism. Set in the 1960s London, but not tied to a specific year, we get to know David Wiseman (played invitingly by Sam Smith) as a boy full of daydreams, a tremendous love for Cricket, and absolutely no ability. He can't catch, can't throw, can't run, and can't hit. Of course, this means that his friends at the school he attends (we would call it a private school in America) make fun of him. David doesn't care because he loves the game so much he is oblivious to the state of his skills. The coaches finally put him on the team to change the scoreboard (there are lots of runs in Cricket).
He lives in a working class neighborhood with its tiny yard, and the row houses mean that the neighbors are all busybodies, too. Being the only Jewish family in the neighborhood they get treated differently, but coldly polite since it is fewer than 20 years since the end of the World War II and the holocaust. David's father has a little shop that consumes all of his time and attention. In one scene, the family is sitting around the table making cushions to sell in the shop.
David's mother, Ruth (Emily Woof), is clearly younger than the father and seems almost too pretty to be the wife of a small time shopkeeper. This becomes an important fact in the story. She is a person of dreams and emotions. And while she is devoted to her family and especially her children, the father's obsession with work denies her the emotional fulfillment she clearly needs.
A new family is moving in next door to them and somehow the neighborhood makes it the Wiseman's responsibility as to who moves in. Why, I cannot fathom. People are crushed when it is a Jamaican (read black) family. Delroy Lindo plays Dennis with real presence and emotional complexity. A very friendly man, Dennis has clearly been away from his wife and daughters for a long time. He begins setting up a practice Cricket net in their small backyard and David is in rapture. He befriends Dennis and his daughter, Lilian, whom Dennis is teaching to play the game. Dennis has great skill at the game and is devoted to it and apparently played it quite seriously.
The rest of the movie exposes the elements set out here. David becomes great friends with Judith, but the issue of race is still, sadly, in their friendship. Dennis gladly teaches David how to play the game and Ruth is grateful to him. However, the friendship she develops with the more emotionally present man next door leads to a couple of acutely uncomfortable scenes (for those who think the marriage relationship to be sacred) that reveal other important aspects about Dennis and his devotion to his wife and daughters.
The neighborhood racists exacerbate the normal tensions that exist when people suppose that race matters in the least (as almost everyone did in the 1960s). Difficult drifts to worse and a crisis occurs that wakes everyone up to the destructive nature of their bigotry.
I found this to be an enjoyable movie. It can be a good film to discuss with your children, but those two scenes between Ruth and Dennis will require some thought on how to use it with your family and probably makes the film unusable for young children. However, they might not even catch what is happening between them.
It is well acted, has a pretty good story, and as I noted, the fact that you are unlikely to know Cricket here in the U.S. is not important. It only uses Cricket as a means to tell the story, it isn't really about the game."