**This review is contributed by Super Channel—a channel dedicated to providing integrity and accountability in today’s entertainment.
This 2016 British sentimental and romantic drama nominated for several prestigious world-class awards, will keep you guessing while wishing only good things for Bella (Jessica Brown Findlay) whose sweet nature mesmerizes the men in her life into wanting to take care of her. It will be easy to just get lost for 100 minutes in a fairytale feel-good movie that has something for everyone.
Innocent little Bella, abandoned as a baby, discovered in a cardboard box by a river, guarded by wild ducks, raised by nuns. A beautiful child, growing up different, a little odd but charming and unassuming. Precise with everything — her food, her clothes, her toothbrushes (one for every day of the week), all in perfect order. One day, Bella decides she is “going to make a difference” and pursue her dream of becoming a writer.
In trying to rescue a piece of paper that blows out of her window during a vicious storm, Bella takes a serious tumble and wakes up in a daze in Alfie’s house, the grouchy old man next door, who complains incessantly about the terrible state of her garden. When he mistreats Vernon, his cook, Bella hires him to work for her with the commitment that Vernon will continue to cook for Alfie providing he helps Bella clean up her garden. As Alfie guides Bella through the process of cleaning up her garden, they begin forming a beautiful unexpected friendship.
As Bella and Billy, a robotic flying bird inventor she meets at the library, spend time together, she finds an intriguing way to verbalize the content of her book through Billy’s inventions, giving Billy courage, too and creating a path that keeps their individual dreams flourishing.
A quirky, but charming, story that ends well with an exceptional cast, each portraying their characters with conviction and authenticity. Alfie, played by veteran actor Tom Wilkinson, is the perfect combination of grumpiness and compassion as he opens his heart to this waif of a young woman. And you will love the reason for the smile on the face of the stern head librarian in the last scene.
The Dove Take:
This is an enchanting whimsical movie where an unkempt garden is the setting for real-life interactions among a group of unlikely characters that enriches their lives and leaves the viewer calm and content. Sophisticated themes that may not be of interest to younger children, but Dove approved for all ages.