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Hope And Glory Review

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World War Two seen through the experiences of one little boy, Bill Rohan (Rice-Edwards), who does his best to grow up and have fun during the blackouts and explosions of the Blitz.

★★★★★

John Boorman’s semi-autobiographical story of a young boy growing up in wartime Britain is more of an idealised remembrance than a historical snapshot. The streets are convincingly evocative of the period (the set was actually built on a disused airfield, adding somewhat to the enclosed camaraderie of the film) but there is little to none of the regular horrors that citizens had to face. Bill’s school being blown up is the closest we get to an admission that this is out and out war and not in some part a game for little boys. Perhaps the influences of Boorman's recent outings into pure fantasy (Excalibur, Exorcist II) are still filtering his vision.

Twee leanings aside, there is plenty of warmth here for a time that always needs remembering, especially as the generation that lived through it will soon be gone.

Appealing, emotional and with a strong enough performance by Rice-Edwards as the boy in his own little war-free world.

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