Whenever I see ‘Sky Original’ it sends shudders down my spine. Twist and Blithe Spirit to name just a few of their most recent output, the bar’s set ankle high at best.
With Hugh Bonneville (Roald Dahl) and Keeley Hawes (Patricia Neal) taking centre stage in this somber family drama that focuses on the famous couple in the aftermath of their kids death, I was at least hoping for some dramatic flair and, you know, to shed a tear or ten. Alas, my Kleenex box was unused and I sat there trying to keep myself awake for this 90 minute snooze fest.
I can’t really get over the fact that for a film whose central characters are one of the world’s most creative minds and a Oscar winning, Hollywood actor, you could make something so dry and lifeless. Yes, it’s going for that weighty, emotional drama feel – but that doesn’t mean it has to be wilfully void of any character, charm or colour. I mean, I knew I wasn’t going to see Willy Wonka enter the frame at any moment, but a pulse would have been nice. Yet this lack of colour and flair could be forgiven if the actual dramatics didn’t feel so utterly hollow too. I honestly didn’t care as it fleeted from one thought to the next.
It just reminded me of how good Goodbye Christopher Robin was. A movie that managed to strike the character of one of this country’s other most famous children’s authors so well, yet could hit you right in the feels at every turn too. To Olivia failed to strike that balance, it failed to strike anything with its bland hollowness. Meh.