18 February 2011

17 Feb - "It was hot, and strange, and lonely in India"

The Secret Garden (1993)
dir. Agnieszka Holland

Kate Maberly (Finding Neverland, 2004)
Andrew Knott (Black Beauty, 1994)
Maggie Smith (Hook, 1991)
John Lynch (The Secret of Roan Inish, 1994)

This movie is based on the beloved book by Francis Hodgson Burnett, who also wrote A Little Princess. I think both books are critical for young girls to read. I know I didn't watch A Little Princess (I prefer the 1995 version over the 1939 one with Shirley Temple) but the point is that courage and kindness are what make that little girl a princess, and that's a goddamn beautiful moral.

The Secret Garden is a movie I like to watch when I'm bummed out because the metaphor here is that, like a garden, hearts need to be tended and cared for in order to flourish (awww). Little Mary Lennox starts out as a nasty and annoying little brat, but you see, it's only because nobody ever loved her. When her parents die, she's shipped off to her uncle's lonely manor on the moor, where her situation hardly improves. Lord Craven has hardly spoken to anyone and spends little time at home ever since his wife, Mary's mother's twin sister, died in an accident. He's so heartbroken that he's hardly met his own son, Colin, who has never left his bedroom since everyone seems to be convinced that he'll drop dead any second.

There's a happy ending though! Colin is fine, and he learns to walk, Mary gets a knack for pulling weeds, and Lord Craven comes home to discover that the garden he tried to lock up forever is in full bloom, and everyone can be happy forever.

Don't you feel better now??? I do.

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