My Life So Far is a pleasantly nostalgic look at a few transformative months in the life of a 10-year old Scottish boy. Brought to the screen by director Hugh Hudson and producer David Puttnam (who collaborated on Chariots of Fire), My Life So Far provides 90 minutes of solid entertainment that runs the gamut from outright hilarity to melodrama. The film doesn't offer many surprises or deep insights into human nature, but it possesses an easygoing charm and likability that overcomes such potential deficiencies.
The place is Argyll, Scotland. The time is the late-1920s, a "safe" era in Europe when the horrors of the Great War are receding into the past and Hitler's proclamations are not yet shaking the firmament. Fraser Pettigrew (Robbie Norman) is an average child growing up in a somewhat abnormal household. He lives with his family on the estate of Kiloran, a vast, sprawling piece of the countryside that houses The Pettigrew Sphagnum Moss Factory (the only one of its kind in the world). Fraser's father, Edward (Colin Firth), is an unsuccessful inventor with two passions: Beethoven ("the sound of God talking in his sleep") and the Bible. He has a deep and abiding love for his children, and shares a special bond with Fraser. Also living in Kiloran Castle are Edward's wife, Moira (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, struggling mightily with her accent), and his mother-in-law, Gamma Macintosh (Rosemary Harris), who owns the land. Moira's brother, Morris (Malcolm McDowell), is a frequent visitor. His relationship with Edward is stormy but he gets along well with his nephews. The catalyst for change is the arrival of Morris' finacée, a French cellist named Heloise (Irène Jacob), who is half her intended husband's age. Fraser develops a childlike crush on the beautiful, soft-spoken woman, but Edward's infatuation is of a more adult, and potentially damaging, nature.
One interesting and successful aspect of My Life So Far is Hudson's ability to present the story from a...
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