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      My Family and Other Animals

      2005 1h 30m Comedy List
      Reviews 83% Audience Score 250+ Ratings In the 1930s an eccentric family (Eugene Simon, Imelda Staunton, Tamzin Merchant) moves from England to the Greek island of Corfu. Read More Read Less

      Critics Reviews

      View All (1) Critics Reviews
      James Plath Movie Metropolis Brimming with fabulistic charm, this joint BBC/WGBH adaptation of Gerald Durrell's memoir offers the most lovable family of bona fide eccentrics that's been brought to film. Rated: 9/10 Jun 6, 2006 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

      View All (21) audience reviews
      Niner P I loved the movie so much that I went and bought all the books connected with the Durrels. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 10/07/23 Full Review Audience Member True to the book, beautifully shot and some good vignettes Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/04/23 Full Review Audience Member It was lightly entertaining, but really I was underwhelmed by it. The book however was marvellous, the characters so colourful, with personalities that just came to life. This all seemed very contrived. There was some authentic Greek language, but the depiction of the locals made them look like brutes. Foreigners would not have been treated that way by the locals (maybe by customs officers though). The eccentrics from England were rediculous. The book was so good, Shame on you BBC Rated 1 out of 5 stars 02/10/23 Full Review Audience Member I found this a delightful story of an unconventional family. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/15/23 Full Review Audience Member A charming little film... Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/26/23 Full Review Audience Member If You Can Control Your Family, You've Gone Terribly Wrong Somewhere It is a curious fact that the English carry their nation with them wherever they go. Americans do this, too; maybe it's something about our language. We act as though everyone else is just being silly if they don't talk and act exactly as we do, even if we are in their country. Perhaps especially if we are in their country. Because of course, our way of doing things is the right way of doing things. Obviously. And so this family remains completely English despite everything which goes on around them; probably the only one who speaks even passable Greek by the time they leave is the child, and of course everyone knows children absorb languages faster than adults. But they arrive not even knowing how to say, "Which way to the hotel?" They have made no plans other than "it's time to be out of England for a while." And their experience is hardly unique, come to that. It explains much of the international politics of the twentieth century. August in England, and the Durrell family is sick of the rain. So they pack up and travel to the island of Corfu. Larry (Matthew Goode) plans to become a writer. Leslie (Russell Tovey) is a gun-nut. Margot (Tamzin Merchant) is boy-crazy. Gerald (Eugene Simon) is half-wild, less than half-educated, and crazy about animals. Mother (Imelda Staunton) takes them all off to Greece, where they settle into a completely new life. That is really just a slightly sunnier version of their old one. Larry invites all sorts of bohemians into their life. Leslie kills more animals than they can possibly eat. Margot has several boyfriends, including one of Gerald's tutors. And Gerald rather does go through tutors, since all he really wants to do is explore everywhere he can and see what animals inhabit their little corner of Greece. To which end he befriends Theodore Stephanides (Chris Langham), who I think is rather taken with his mother. Really, the ideal solution to Gerald's educational situation would have been to have Dr. Stephanides, the naturalist, take over. If for no other reason than that Gerald would respect him when he said, "No, you really ought to learn this, and it really will be helpful to you." I mean, George (David Armand) at least tried to interest Gerald in the subjects he felt were important. It didn't quite work, probably because George didn't seem to know much about zoology--though he might have known more about English wildlife. Peter (Tom Goodman-Hill), on the other hand, was simply terrible. George fell for Margot as well, but he still did his job. One rather got the feeling that Peter didn't want to be a tutor in the first place, and he certainly had no interest in Gerald. It was awfully easy to get him to go talk to her while Gerald drew pictures of lizards instead of doing his multiplication tables. And Margot, for all her complaints about Gerald's wildness, didn't exactly pressure Peter to do his job instead. Really, two of the four are very intelligent. And maybe Margot is, too, under her boy-chasing ways. (No hope for Leslie, even beyond the guns.) Yes, Larry is a bit of an intellectual snob, but he does actually have a brain and to a certain extent know how to use it. And Gerald not only learns Greek quickly and fluently, but he learns a great deal about the local wildlife and how to care for it. His spelling is below age level, and he should have already known his multiplication tables, but that doesn't mean he's stupid. Just that he doesn't bother to learn things which don't interest him right away, and nothing interests him right away but biology. Even Leslie shows some crude problem-solving skills, and the boat he makes floats at least, even if you wouldn't want to try actually going anywhere in it. The one time they use it, they are forced to tow it behind another boat. And Spiro (Omid Djalili) gets horribly seasick, of course. This was delightful, all in all. It was funny. It was clever. It was believable--well, it's based on Gerald Durrell's own autobiography, so presumably he learned enough to write a book eventually. (Larry, who became a famous novelist himself, said, "This is a very wicked, very funny, and I'm afraid rather truthful book--the best argument I know for keeping thirteen-year-olds at boarding-schools and not letting them hang about the house listening in to conversations of their elders and betters.") It's also a bit disheartening, there at the end. They stayed on Corfu from 1935 to 1939, and they did not go home because they wanted to. The book, which I've not read, implies they went home for Gerald's education, and that isn't true, either. The fact is, the Mediterranean was not the safest place for British citizens come 1939, and the family went back to Bournemouth for their own safety. Which is certainly a better fate than that which awaited the Jews of Corfu, for all Gerald could not have known it at the time. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/12/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      My Family and Other Animals

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      Cast & Crew

      Movie Info

      Synopsis In the 1930s an eccentric family (Eugene Simon, Imelda Staunton, Tamzin Merchant) moves from England to the Greek island of Corfu.
      Director
      Sheree Folkson
      Screenwriter
      Simon Nye
      Genre
      Comedy
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Dec 2, 2020
      Runtime
      1h 30m