Friday, February 13, 2009

Must Watch Friday - The Secret of Moonacre

Here in the UK we've been having rather a lot of 'snow' days recently. That's when everything shuts down - schools, trains, the road network, airports ... Snow like we've been having happens so rarely we're just not prepared for it.

By 'snow' day three I decided my family had been in long enough and marched everyone to the cinema. It was a bit of a tricky call what to see. I have five children between the ages of ten and fifteen and their viewing preferences are diverse. 'The Secret of Moonacre' wasn't anyone's first choice but it seemed to the best compromise so that's what we went to see.

And, you know, it's fun!

It's an adaptation of 'The Little White Horse' by Elizabeth Goudge - and there are some notable changes from the book. Sir Benjamin is younger and far sexier than his literary counterpart, played by Ioan Gruffud. Loveday is also younger and Robin is not her son but her brother .....

But setting that aside - we all enjoyed it. That's really quite remarkable.

Maria Merryweather’s (Dakota Blue Richards) father dies forcing her to go and live with her uncle, Sir Benjamin, at the mysterious Moonacre Manor. Her sole inheritance is a beautifully illustrated book called 'The Secret Chronicles of Moonacre Valley' - and her uncle confiscates it.

When she retrieves it she discovers a tale of bitter rivalry ... and that she is the last Moon Princess of the valley with the responsibility of finding the magic pearls before the next full moon. If she fails to end the centuries old feud ... Moonacre Valley will be destroyed for all time.

If I'm honest, I enjoyed 'Stardust' more - but we're in the same kind of territory and it's such a beautiful film to watch. Whoever got to create Moonacre Manor in all its crumbling beauty must feel they'll never have such a perfect job again.

As an all-age family movie I reckon it's hard to beat ....

And there's a bit of romance, too. Can't be bad.

Much love

'Cinderella and the Sheikh' is out in NA and the UK right now!

The Romantic Times Magazine gives Cinderella and the Sheikh 4.5 'Oakley begins her Brides of Amrah Kingdom duet with a well-told story. The exotic setting -- and Rashid -- add a dash of mystery and glamour.'


  1. I love and adore The Little White Horse. Have done since I first read it. The BBC did a children's mini series of it about 15 years ago. I am looking forward to seeing this but dreading that they may not have got it right.

  2. They haven't got it right, Michelle. The decision to 'sex-up' Sir Benjamin had big consequences. They also go for a big scene finish with the pearls which just isn't in the book.

    As soon as I switched off my 'oh but, that didn't happen' mechanism I enjoyed it. And it held the attention of my boys which I'm still surprised by.

  3. Now you see I haven't read the book so I'm probably just fine with sexing up old uncle Ben, especially if it is Ioan in the role. YUM.

    I am getting more frustrated with adaptations that are left hanging than with ones that change endings. Pullman's Sally Lockhart adaptation and THe Golden Compass drove me batty, and I watched Poldark last night and when the credits rolled I had a serious what the heck moment. Or nine.

  4. Oooh Natasha I just got around to watching the trailer. I'd watch this movie on the cast alone. Juliet Stevenson and Natascha McElhone, yay!