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From Time To Time: Movie Review

By tvnz.co.nz's Darren Bevan

Published: 10:14AM Saturday May 07, 2011

  • From Time To Time

From Time to Time

Rating: 5/10

Cast: Maggie Smith, Pauline Collins, Alex Etel, Timothy Spall

Director: Julian Fellowes

Based on best seller The Chimneys of Green Knowe, From Time To Time is a ghost story mixed in with family intrigue.

When thirteen year old Tolly (Etel) is sent to live with his grandmother (Smith) at her country estate, he becomes obsessed with the family secrets which are embroiled in the home.

Tolly discovers he can move between his world and the past - and begins to uncover family secrets of the estate which have lain dormant for years.

From Time to Time feels a little out of time to be honest - it's certainly enchanting in places and has some wonderful effects as Tolly travels from the present to the country home of the past.

Doors open and suddenly Tolly's back in a past brought to life by wonderfully evocative colours and society life.

But it's all a little plodding in places - it feels a little Secret Gardenish as they negotiate different times and along with simple acting and no real emotion from the lead, it's hard to become engaged in this tale.

Which is a shame because Fellowes manages to eke out maximum spookiness from the old mansion, wrings out the best from his locations and gets a great performance from Maggie Smith.

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