This Beautiful Fantastic
a garden, a writer, a cook, a grumpy old man and the possibility of dreams
Once in a while a film comes along that defies the standard rules of film. That is the case with “This Beautiful Fantastic”. The nuances of subtlety, love, loss and hope find themselves intertwined in one another as a beautiful tale unfolds of a woman named Bella Brown (Jessica Brown Findlay) and her lively existence. Conditioned to a life of loneliness and survival, in her accustomed world of solitude working in a library surrounded by her favorite thing (books) while meekly pursuing life as a children’s author, Bella’s life takes a sudden turn when she befriends a cook, a cantankerous old man and an inventor. Orphaned as a newborn baby, now with a developed sense of OCD, Bella embarks on a magical journey that begins with an introduction to Alfie Stephenson (Tom Wilkinson) as she finds herself injured in a storm that happened in her own backyard. A series of witty banter ensues then introducing us to the cook, Vernon (Andrew Scott). The relationship between Vernon and Alfie is one that amuses and when Bella becomes a part of it all, its sheer delight.
Centered around the death of a perfectly good garden, Bella is portrayed by Jessica Brown Findlay with a grace and innocence that makes her one of my favorite female characters since Amelie. There is something intrinsically wonderful about characters that haven’t lost a sense of wonder and writer/director Simon Aboud created a woman we all willingly fall in love with and a story that is epigrammatic and heartfelt. As the story evolves, we meet Billy (Jeremy Irvine), an inventor who sees the magic in everything, including his mechanical bird named Luna. While every performance is endearing, I found myself most drawn to Vernon, played by the charming Andrew Scott. He stole my heart from the onset and his ability to bring life into every scene creates the most wonderful foundation for a tale that will awaken your heart.
With a strong story arc, flawless performances that aren’t overdone, the strangely spun tale of friendship, family and love presents us with the question: can dreams come true? The story reminds us that we’re never truly alone and sometimes, if we’re lucky, life will present us with extraordinary circumstances and remarkable people that give us everything we need to believe …