Julian Fellowes’s adaptation of Lucy M Boston’s classic Green Knowe children’s books is a labour of love, and it shows. Maggie Smith leads a first-rate cast, all of them on top form, in a gentle, intelligently framed period fantasy about a boy whose father has gone missing in the closing weeks of World War II.
The low budget is visible in some of the special effects, but the film is so well made in every other sense that you quickly forget to care. A haunted old house, time travel, a family mystery waiting for the right child to solve it: Fellowes makes a virtue out of the familiarity of his story’s building blocks, and slowly marshals us towards a moving and unexpected final scene. Aimed at preteens and down, and ideal for this audience, but parents will find themselves in tears as well.
FROM TIME TO TIME, directed by Julian Fellowes.