This Beautiful Fantastic tells the story of Bella (Jessica Brown Findlay, England is Mine, The Riot Club, Downton Abbey), an aspiring author who works in a library and who suffers of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). When she is told she will be evicted from her rented house if she doesn’t tend to the propriety garden, she befriend with her neighbor Alfred ( Tom Wikinson, Snowden, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Bone in the Throat alongside Ed Westwick and Vanessa Kirby) and his chef Vernon (Andrew Scott, Sherlock, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Pride). Alfred is an old grumpy man with a deep love for flowers and plants…and a romantic story to tell. All changes when Bella meets Billy (Jeremy Irvine, Fallen, War Horse, Great Expectation and soon in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again!). Billy shows her the extraordinary Luna: the mechanical bird powered by moonlight he is building.
It’s quite impossible to look at This Beautiful Fantastic‘s poster without going back in time to 2001, when the world fell in love with French movie The Wonderful World of Amelie…and when the movie starts this feeling start to grow second by second.
This Beautiful Fantastic is a fairy-tale so, as fable, needs to be watch for what it’s suppose to be: a romantic tale, exactly. There is a woman with a hard childhood who needs help but who at the meantime, inspires everyone she meets. She is surrounded by three men with the goal to make life happy: Alfie, an angry Scrooge; the charming Irishman named Vernon and a sweetly bumbling inventor named Billy.
The cast and their chemistry is perfect: Findlay is the perfect Bella, with her fresh-faced purity and her extraordinary simplicity. Tom Wilkinson‘s Alfie is the opponent with the hard job to push the main character through his/her journey. He is the one making life very hard for Bella at first but he is also the one giving life advises, using life metaphors: “Here. Helianthus. Gyant sunflower. Start out with them, they are incredible beautiful. They need a lot of light and heat. They follow the ark of the sun from dawn to dusk, extracting maximum energy every day. It’s a very clever plant. Think of that.”…and giving her reason to change her life for good. To act as a background we have Alfie‘s housekeeper Vernon, the goofy inventor Billy Trantor and head librarian Bramble (Anna Chancellor, Testament of Youth, Fleming).
Writer and director Simon Aboud (son-in-law of Paul McCartney) is able to tell a sweet fairy-tale without using too many and boring clichés.
Anne Nikitin‘s score is pure energy while Alexandra Walker‘s interiors are the icing on the cake.
This Beautiful Fantastic is charming and uplifting. The ending helps to make this movie a proper English marzipan.
“I can’t forgive this, you have squandered everything nature has given you”
This Beautiful Fantastic is available on to watch on Digital Download from 5th March here