Good things come in little packages
That is comforting for me to say but I’m not talking about my height. I thought I would finally get round to reviewing one of my favourite films from my childhood The Borrowers. We’ve all been there or at least I hope so or I sound silly – those little friends only we know about. Okay I’m really not helping myself here.
Based on best-selling novel by Mary Norton, Peter Hewitt took a gamble taking a popular classic and directing this $30 Million film aimed at a PG audience. Following the mishaps and adventures of the ‘Borrowers’ so named for their cunning habits of stealing from the ‘beans’ they live with, the Tom and Huck director didn’t do a bad job at the box office with a gross of $22,359,293. Not bad at all.
Suitably named Homily (Celia Imre) and often overly protective Pod Clock (Jim Broadbent) star as the parents of children Arrietty (13-year-old Flora Newbigin) and Peagreen (Tom Felton). Yes thee Tom Felton, surprised me too that one. Their engaging adventure launches into action when they’re almost caught in the kitchen by the somewhat surprised lenders the also suitably named tenants of the house. When lawyer-Realtor Ocious P. Potter (John Goodman) discovers the owner of the house has kicked the bucket, he makes plans to evict the Lenders and demolish the building — an unnappealing situation for both borrower and lender an alliance between Lender (Bradley Pierce) and borrower Arrietty is formed leading an intense and exciting war against the beastly super-sized potter.
This film really plays on those sparks of childhood imagination and for me The Borrowers will always have a special place in my heart. It has that unique knack of Working title films to reach out to the whole family in different ways. For one its magical and the special effects pretty dam good for its time and yet it has a strange sort of realism you wouldn’t expect from such a fantastical idea. You can’t help for the characters, they behave and think just like us only smaller and I think that’s whats the film is trying to say. That we shouldn’t be so judgemental.
In 1998 it was nominated for the title of Best British Film in the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awards, but lost to Gary Oldman’s certificate 18 drug filled Nil by Mouth. Maybe I’m a biased 90’s kid but The borrowers will always be a favourite and I would thoroughly recommend it as a film you have to see at least once when you’re young enough to believe and again when you are old enough to remember why you did. Magic.