Shelved for three years, Hugh Hudson's first collaboration with producer David Puttnam since Chariots Of Fire is a weary wallow in '20s nostalgia. Based on the childhood memoir by British TV executive Sir Denis Forman, it tells of Fraser (Norman), a 10-year-old boy whose idyllic existence in the Scottish Highlands with his inventor father (Firth) and doting mum (Mastrantonio) is thrown into disarray by the arrival of his no-nonsense uncle (McDowell).
Like John Boorman's Hope And Glory, Hudson's drama views adult foibles through the eyes of a child. Unfortunately, the young actors are as unprepossessing as the post-synched dubbing and rambling narrative.
There's little here worth your while, unless you're interested in the medicinal properties of sphagnum moss, which Firth farms with a passion bordering on the pathological. The film is dedicated to Ian Charleson: not much of an epitaph, though.