Friday, August 5, 2011

Stuff I like:
Dean Spanley

A few people, most notably my sister in law Janelle, recommended a movie called Dean Spanley, a quiet little comedy from New Zealand that played theatrically in the U.K. but went straight to DVD here in the States. Usually, "straight to DVD" means "not very good", but Dean Spanley is charming and well-acted. Sam Neill is in the title role as a British vicar who has strong memories of a previous life, and the movie also features Jeremy Northam and Peter O'Toole as an estranged son and father and Bryan Brown as a "conveyor", a middleman who is able to get his hands on Hungarian Imperial Tokay wine, an elixir that helps Dean Spanley remember his previous life more vividly.

I am intentionally not giving much of the plot away, but I give this film a very strong recommendation. Right now, I've only found it available on Netflix in streaming mode, so if you have that option, give the movie a chance. If you like sweet and eccentric comedies set in period, Dean Spanley will be a pleasant evening's entertainment, one that might bring back memories of a former life to some who watch it.


Karlacita! said...

The scene where all four men are together as Dean is recalling his past life is like an acting master class - and also a being human master class. This was an amazing story.

namastenancy said...

It nice to see Sam Neil in a part that calls for real acting. He's really wasted in all those dinosaur movies but I guess they pay the bills. If you ever have a chance, try to find an old movie with him and Merly Steep. I can't remember the name but they play a pair of Australians, members of a fundamentalist religion. Their baby is lost on a camping trip and the mother is accused of murder. Neil is absolutely superb as the distraught father.

Matty Boy said...

Karlacita!: I was pleasantly surprised as well.

Nancy: You are describing A Cry In The Dark. I also like Neill in a quiet little comedy from Australia from a few years back called The Dish, about an Australian radar station that was necessary for a NASA mission.