This remake of classic novel The Secret Garden feels familiar and amiable, even if that means it doesn’t take any risks.
It sticks to a pretty predictable structure as it tells the story of young orphan Mary Lennox, who finds a magical, secret garden behind her reclusive uncle’s estate.
The film is beautifully-shot, with impressive visuals and an eye for great camerawork. Director Mark Munden, three-time BAFTA winner, knows how to put together a competent film. There just isn’t an incredible amount of spark and intrigue.
The performances, however, are sublime. From young Dixie Egerickx to the wonderful veterans Colin Firth and Julie Walters, they are a joy to watch onscreen from start to finish. Egerickx fills the screen with such enthusiasm and joy that it’s hard not to smile.
This Secret Garden is a well-known tale, and one that’s endured over the years. Children the world over have fallen in love with the plot and characters. Those looking for a shot-for-shot copy of past films won’t be disappointed.
And yet, part of me wished to be pulled into the magic of this film just a little bit deeper.