Film Reviews

The Secret of Moonacre

Warner Brothers

If you are looking for something with a bit of magic, something you can drift off into a fantasy world with and watch as a mysterious story unfolds, then this is a film for you. ‘The Secret of Moonacre‘ is no ordinary fairy tale story with its emphasis of magic and fantasy. The film adaptation of the novel ‘The Little White Horse’ by Elizabeth Goudge is much more about family, putting all differences behind you and overcoming your pride.

It sort of reminds me of ‘The Never Ending Story’ with more importance on family and overcoming disputes between each other and less on magic and bringing a story to life. ‘The Secret of Moonacre’ follows the adventures of young teenage Maria Merryweather (Dakota Blue Richards), who when her father dies, is forced to leave the city and live with her uncle, Sir Benjamin Merryweather (Ioan Gruffudd), at his isolated country estate in Moonacre Valley. Her sole inheritance from her father is a book, but this is no ordinary book. It chronicles an ancient tale, the rivalry between two families – the Merryweather’s and De Noir’s, over a set of magical pearls. It is placed in the hands of Maria, Moon Princess to find the pearls and get the two families to put their differences behind them, overcoming a curse placed on Moonacre Village.

Gábor Csupó, who also directed ‘Bridge to Terabithia‘, directs this film in a similar fashion. There are a few comical moments in the film, such a minder with trapped wind, but the majority of the film is mesmerising for other reasons. The settings are even more beautiful with images of the large moon rising being striking, making the magic more dominant. There are some magical scenes, but not nearly as much as I expected, which was my exact opinion with ‘Bridge to Terabithia’. The there is the house slowing falling into disrepair, a dog with red eyes thought to be a demon dog by one family but magically a black lion, a small man moving at the speed of light and then the stars on a bedroom ceiling glistening, shooting (or rather falling) one by one; this element I would love for my own bedroom. Along with the beauty of the setting and scenery comes the hideously dreadful costume that may be worse than those worn in the Middle Ages, but somehow suits the time of the tale incredibly well.

There may not be as much magical sentiment than you may want from the film, but ‘The Secret of Moonacre’ is still a very enjoyable flick to watch and will be an experience for children and adults alike to enjoy.

Michelle Moore