Movie Review - The Secret Garden (1993 - United States)
What a wonderful picture, and especially appropriate to watch in spring. Fresh, exciting to look at, with outstanding acting all the way around, and two wonderful non-credited characters: a creepy old house, and a splendid old garden. I recommend this as highly as I can, for anyone, of any age, but most specifically for anyone needing a shot of renewal, regeneration…..... of spring!
As is so often the case with stories intended for young audiences, there is a very dark back-story, as well. The neglectful parents of the central character, Mary Lennox (Kate Maberly) are contrasted with the suffocatingly overly protective parenting inflicted on her cousin, Colin Craven (Heydon Prowse). As she restores to its former splendor the garden on her uncle’s evocatively named estate, Craven Hall, a wild-child servant boy, Dickon (Andrew Knott) with an abiding connection to nature helps her understand the importance of nurturing that is supportive, but not stultifying.
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What makes this film special, however, is the uncredited presence at its center, that wonderful garden! Director Agnieszka Holland and cinematographer Roger Deakins create a poetic mutual blossoming of the spirits of humans and plants, which places The Secret Garden in a unique category and allows it to easily transcend typical “family” movies.
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Copyright © Roberta Lee 2012. All rights reserved.
(I am an artist and the author of the Suburban Sprawl series of novels as well as two nonfiction books. Find out more about my work at RobertaLeeArt.com.)
Genre: Drama, Kids & Family
Running Time: 1 hr. 41 min.
In Theaters: Mar 18, 1993
On DVD: Jan 1, 2000
Directed By: Agnieszka Holland
Writers: Frances Hodgson Burnett (book),
Caroline Thompson (screenplay)
Kate Maberly ... Mary Lennox
Heydon Prowse... Colin Craven
Andrew Knott ... Dickon
Maggie Smith. . Mrs. Medlock
Laura Crossley ... Martha
John Lynch ... Lord Archibald Craven
Walter Sparrow ... Ben Weatherstaff