We Bought a Zoo
A widowed father played by Matt Damon moves to the South Californian country and purchases a zoo with his family
On Film4: 6 Sep 6:25PM
The finest of the whimsical Scottish films whose off-beat appeal kick-started the British film industry's revival in the mid 1980s
Riegert plays a cynical, yuppy oil-firm executive waiting to be softened up by exposure to the warmth and eccentricities of a small Scottish community. He is dispatched to the coastal town by his greedy boss (Lancaster), with the aim of buying up land for commercial exploitation, so destroying an area that includes a stretch of environmentally sensitive coastland. Almost at once the place, with all its quirky inhabitants and stark beauty, begins to work its magic on not only the young man but also his boss when he in turn shows up in town.
After the cult success of That Sinking Feeling and the international hit that was Gregory's Girl, Forsythe revives the spirit of the great Ealing comedies, with particular reference to Whisky Galore! He serves up a heart-warming slice of Caledonian charm, graced by one of the majestic cameo performances delivered by the elderly Lancaster whenever called upon.
This essence of the feelgood movie served as an entree for the director's sojourn in Hollywood, but it is Local Hero which is his cosiest and most accomplished film and a gem almost good enough to give sentimental whimsy a good name.
Without question, the most charming British film of the 1980s.
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