Ebene News – GB – To Olivia struggles to reconcile the two sides of Roald Dahl – Review

The film traces the years after Dahl and his wife, actor Patricia Neal, lost their eldest daughter Olivia to encephalitis caused by measles

Director: John Hay Starring: Hugh Bonneville, Keeley Hawes, Sam Heughan, Geoffrey Palmer, Conleth Hill PG, 99 minutes

Thirty years have passed since Roald Dahl’s death and we still struggle with his legacy As a man he was staunch and deeply anti-Semitic, known to belittle his loved ones and treat his audiences with apathy On the page, he would allow worlds of infinite wonder and mischievous genius to flourish To Olivia, a John Hay film, attempts to sidestep the issue entirely and tell a story about grief, in all its universal forms Sometimes , it looks like a loophole

In 1962, Dahl and his wife, actor Patricia Neal, lost their eldest daughter Olivia to measles encephalitis She was seven Emerging from the throes of grief, the couple continued to celebrate career highlights – Dahl released Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in the United States in 1964, with great success, while Neal won the Oscar for Best Actress a year earlier , for the role of Paul Newman’s hard-bitten housekeeper in Hud

To Olivia traces the space between these events, with Hugh Bonneville and Keeley Hawes as Dahl and Neal Grief settles within the walls of their secluded country home – and inside the famous hangar d writing of the author, where the film shows him in private commune with his childhood being Presumably, this narrative tip is meant to explain the source of Dahl’s vast imagination, although it was never made clear All the boy seems to be doing is staring It’s a stunning wide-eyed gaze that seems to be the only thing capable of making the man feel guilty in writing

Hay, alongside cinematographer Graham Frake, beautifully captures how fleeting little magical words shared between parents and children can be The House exists in Buckinghamshire and also, apparently, in Arthurian legend The Mist s hangs on top of the forest trees and the birds – sometimes depicted as a CGI blur – perch in a large, intricate menagerie in the garden But the fairies and tea parties start to dissipate as soon as the thick smog of death begins to happen

“To Olivia” wants us to see our own experiences reflected in the anxieties of the Dahl family

To Olivia wants us to see our own experiences reflected in the agonies of the Dahl family They run through their grief, both on a public and private stage – there are watercress sandwiches with passed out eggs at the vigil, followed silent tears among the debris of the deceased’s possessions But Hay and David Logan’s screenplay tries to wrest his story from the hands of those he represents He struggles to reconcile the palpable image of a sensitive family man shot down by depression with the more complicated reality that accompanies it – that of a tyrant sometimes endowed with a great capacity for manipulation Bonneville does her best to find some form of fellowship between the two There is a madness in her eyes that expresses so much more than what’s on the page

Hawes, meanwhile, is heartbreaking as someone who has always waited to be a wife and mother first, a grieving woman then but she never fully leans over the husky sled and Neal’s lived experience, especially when replicating his performance in Hud The same could be said of the film’s treatment of Paul Newman, here played by Outlander’s Sam Heughan The piercing blue eyes and razor-sharp jaw are all present and correct, but the film presents him more as a generic Hollywood whim than the genteel, thoughtful man he’s commonly portrayed as Certainly Grief is Universal – but To Olivia never accepts that stories get their own way. power of specificity This is what makes them feel real

“To Olivia” wants us to see our own experiences reflected in the anxieties of the Dahl family

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Roald Dahl, Patricia Neal, Hugh Bonneville, Keeley Hawes, Drama, Olivia Dahl

Ebene News – GB – For Olivia struggles to reconcile both sides of Roald Dahl – review

Source: https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/reviews/to-olivia-review-roald-dahl-b1802918.html