Yet Another Gem

Until I wrote the title, I didn’t realize how appropriate it was, but I’ll say right off the bat that if you want to know why, you’ll have to head on over to Netflix and watch the movie for yourself.

Okay, so the trailer gave it away…

Since I’m still having a bit of trouble getting enthused over the holidays, I figured I’d start getting prepared now to see if I can’t get past that this year. I have all of my favorite books, Cal’s book is set in November and December so there’s that to help, plus I have a small collection of Christmas videos. However…I wanted to see what was available on Netflix. So, pen in hand, I prepared to make a list.

In the process I found From Time to Time. Technically, I suppose it could be considered a Christmas movie, but they don’t touch on it very much. No, most of the story bounces back and forth between the 1940’s and the early 1800’s.

Tolly is sent to stay with a grandmother he barely knows, while his mother travels to London (I think it was London), to try to find out what’s happened to his father – who is listed as missing in the midst of the war.

Maggie Smith (Mother Superior in Sister Act, and Granny Wendy in Hook) plays the grandmother, and Alex Etel does a fine job as Tolly. Add a cast of eclectic and sometimes eccentric characters, and I realized early on that I would love this movie.

The house is chock-full of ghosts from circa 1811. Not everyone can see them, and others can only see them once in awhile. Tolly, however, sees them often, and walks seamlessly from the present to the past…and back again. At times, what’s going on more than a hundred years ago seem to be memories shared from the history of the family, but there are times when it appears they’re happening concurrently.

At first, the only person in the past who knows Tolly is there is Susan, a young blind girl who senses his presence. I got the feeling she knew he wasn’t supposed to be there. Later, her even younger companion and playmate, Jacob, can see him, poking fun at his short pants. Finally, a kitchen made spies him in the middle of meal preparations – with several other servants around her. It was really cute they way she tried to cover for her reactions to someone no one else knows is there.

There are people to save, and a mystery to be solved, good guys, bad guys, and a story that held my attention from beginning to end.

While there weren’t a whole lot of laugh out loud moments, there were a couple of moments I’d like to share with you. It’s just my opinion, but I think the reason they were my favorites is mostly because the lines were delivered so seriously, and in the second case, so unexpectedly.

In the first, Tolly walks in on his grandmother, who is gazing at a photograph of her MIA son.
Tolly: “You don’t have to worry. I know he’s alive.”
Granny: “I think I’ll still worry a bit, if it’s all right with you.”

In the other, he’s chatting with the housekeeper about the history of his ancestors, in this case about a spoiled, awful young man named Sefton.
Tolly:  “What a funny name.”
Mrs. Tweedle: “I don’t think someone called Toseland is in much of a position to talk.”

If you’re looking for action, you won’t find it in this film. If you’re looking for romance, sex, gratuitous cussing, or senseless violence, you might as well pass this move by. But if you enjoy a bit of adventure and compelling storyline, one that makes you feel good that you spent an hour and a half or so watching it,  you might just like From Time to Time.

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