At the Movies

How appealing is Colin Firth!! I think many of you would agree that he is a very captivating combination of handsome, talented and charming – doesn’t get much better. And I was thrilled, but of course not terribly surprised, when he won the Oscar last weekend. So, in his honor, my movie pick this week is a somewhat under-the-radar film of his, that I serendipitously found years ago and loved.

Released in 1999, My Life So Far, is a charming coming of age story based on Sir Denis Forman’s childhood memoirs “Son of Adam”.  Forman was a TV executive in England, responsible for such programs as The Jewel in the Crown and then served as deputy chairman of the Royal Opera in London. This delightful film tells of the multi-generational Macintosh clan and their life in Kiloran House, a castle like estate in Argyll, Scotland in the late 1920’s. Seen through the eyes of adventurous 10 year old Fraser Pettigrew, life in this Highland house seems idyllic, at least at the beginning.

In reality this is a family of oddballs. Colin Firth plays Fraser’s father, a kind and loving but eccentric inventor, obsessed with Beethoven and aviation, who runs the Sphagnum Moss Factory, the only one in existence, for good reason. His wife Moira (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) has given up her burgeoning opera career to stay at home with their expanding brood and her mother, Gamma Macintosh (Rosemary Harris), rules the estate with an iron fist. The trouble starts when Moira’s brother and heir to the estate Morris (Malcolm McDowell), comes to visit with his much younger, beautiful, cello-playing fiancée Heloise (Irene Jacob). Fraser is instantly smitten and so unfortunately is his father. Fraser’s increasing awareness of the larger world beyond the walls and fields of Kiloran is what provides the film with its humorous and poignant moments.

Directed by Hugh Hudson, of Chariots of Fire fame, the film’s cinematography of the Scottish highlands is beautiful as are the period costuming and art direction. You really see the world through Fraser’s eyes and appreciate not only his cosmopolitan discoveries (mostly in the attic) and maturation but his father’s as well. And that of course is the point!

Here is a trailer for the film – it’s a bit long so watch what you like. And when you have time, be sure to watch the entire movie – it’s a charmer, just like Mr. Firth.

32 thoughts on “At the Movies

  1. I love Colin Firth, I’ve had a crush on him for years. I just heard about one of his other movies “a single man” that I’m hoping to watch this weekend. Love him!

  2. I loved this movie…all things Scotland for me. Colin Firth is just such a fabulous actor and seems to have such good character that you can see it in every movie he has ever done. I loved “A Month In The Country” but he also made a terrific and very believable Mr. Darcy, didn’t he?

  3. I didn’t know this film at all. Your review makes it sound like a good weekend lazy-day movie. I love Colin Firth too. I’m going to go see Matt Damon this weekend in his new movie, The Adjustment Bureau. xx’s

  4. I was also thrilled he won the Oscar. He deserved it, he’s such a talented actor. I’ve missed this movie, I’ll have to get it soon. :)

  5. He is fantastic and I have such a crush on his British accent:) I totally need to see this movie soon:) Hope you are having a great week,sweetie
    Happy Friday

  6. Well, you KNOW that I
    love my Colin, but what
    I didn’t know was anything
    about this movie? {Probably
    because in 1999 I had a one
    year old and a four year old!}
    THANK YOU for the recommendation.
    I am going to try and buy this
    little gem to add to my collection!
    Happy Friday,
    xx Suzanne

  7. I have always loved Colin Firth since he had a small part in a television production of “The Secret Garden,” this had to be twenty years ago. I can’t remember what channel it was on but I watched it on video repeatedly with my daughters. He was the grown-up version of the main male character. So dashing! And of course the A & E production of “Pride and Prejudice” sealed the deal. Also “Bridget Jones.” I will definitely rent this movie, thanks for bringing it to our attention!

  8. I don’t believe it, a film with Colin Firth in it that I have not seen! This ones going straight on the wish list.

  9. Colin Firth is so dreamy in a let’s get married, have a family, go to museums, read together, laugh together, travel and fill our home with treasures around the world! xx Danielle

  10. This looks wonderful..and I am shocked I haven’t seen it as I am a big Colin fan and thought I saw everything hes been in! Thanks for the here I come. Wishing you a wonderful weekend:)

  11. Q,

    I was thinking about getting a movie to watch this weekend but I’m tired of watching boring movies… so, this is it! I’ll try to find it!

    Thank you!

    Have a Great Weekend, my friend!


    Luciane at

  12. I just realized that I didn’t have a chance to read your movie recommendation today and am in need of something for this weekend! This gem is right up my alley (Colin – sigh!) but alas, Netflix does not have the DVD in stock and it seems like it’s MIA. Perhaps I’ll bite the bullet and just buy it on Amazon!

  13. Looks right up my alley! I get lost in all of the BBC classics that have 6-8 episodes (off of Netflix). Going to definitely put this on in my “queue”!! Our next move is supposed to be Scotland so I will dream away looking at the landscape. Thanks!

  14. I do not know this one — you have the best movie recs… I wish I had more time to enjoy films. I thrilled to have the chance to spend Friday night watching the Tailor of Panama with Mr. SM — have you seen it lately?? It is really is good. Pierce Bronson, hard to beat. have a great wknd, ebh

  15. Oh I do like it when friends suggest films or books to me. It’s as if I am getting ot know them a little better too.. I will definitely have to find this one…
    Happy Weekend, Vie

  16. Funny thing I barely see any films but most of what you post I have! You bring back wonderful memories.
    Thank you so much for taking the time to make comments on I do appreciate it and do read your blog as reegiously as possible….the wines etc. very interesting always!
    Thanks again Heather

  17. If there is anything I love more than watching French movies is period movies especially those set somewhere in England. I hope you had enjoyed your weekend.

  18. How is it possible that I don’t know of this movie! Adding this immediately to my Firth Film Fest (in my head :) ) love this man/actor so much…just know I will adore this movie as well, thanks for all the great film recs…have now watched Matt Damon in Mr. Ripley…finally, and enjoyed it thoroughly, on to the next!

  19. I am totally loving the idea of a date with Mr. Firth on my couch! Thank you being instrumental in planning the get together, ha! Thanks also for the warm welcome to twitter. I have to give credit to PPT (Elizabeth) because she gave me wonderful advice and tips on who is amazing at Twittering. You were a mention and I am quietly studying the art before I come out tweets a blazing. Have a wonderful Sunday! XO

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