I have to admit, I had been waiting all CHRISTMAS for this one as Judi Dench is one of my very favourite actresses of all time!
Based (loosely I am told) on the book by Roald Dahl, this was the delightful story of Mr Hoppy, a lonely man with only two passions , his beautifully kept balcony filled with fabulous flowers and his unrequited love for the deliciously dotty lady in the flat below.
Hatching a plan involving a fake Bedouin spell and a large number of tortoises, Mr Hoppy endeavours to win her heart by giving her her wish to make her trusted and beloved Tortoise grow.
Why I Liked it ...
Rather controversially I really enjoyed the device of having James Corden as the Narrator, he has a innocence about him that to my mind made him perfect and as his involvement in the tale was slowly revealed, it made me smile !
Judi Dench... Need I say More?
Ok, I will. she played this so playfully and her inner eccentricity was allowed to come to the fore, the sight of her in yellow bunny ears will stay with me forever!
Dustin Hoffman is superb as Mr Hoppy, the quiet man with a cunning plan, thwarted at every turn by the odious bore from upstairs who becomes his love rival.
Filmed in rich, warm tones this story written by Richard Curtis ( of "Love Actually" Fame ) for the screen was a delight for the eyes and the Louis Armstrong soundtrack caressed my ears... This film was like a warm cuddle and despite divergence from the original book, I think it was perfect post New Year fodder to recover from the previous evenings's excesses!
A resounding ⛅️ (Point deducted for taking away some of Roald Dahl's language to Modernise for a 2015 audience)