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Bringing Ethel and Ernest to Animated Life, A Movie Review

Ethel and ErnestBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Ethel and Ernest (voiced by Jim Broadbent and Brenda Blethyn) is a very nostalgic and sentimental animated film about these two individuals. It has an illustrative style reminiscent of Tintin. Based on the graphic novel of the same name written and illustrated by Raymond Briggs, this product certainly brings to life the ragtime era of Edwardian London in its opening act. Technically, the year is 1928 and all of this era’s sublime and romantic nature is the highlight. The music is recreated in its vintage glory and it steals the show. I was happily humming along.

This movie is about the life and times of this couple as they witness history unfold. Quite often, they make the most of the situation if it adversely affects them. In most cases, it does not and they offer thoughts in what’s happening than to be straight out cutthroat. Some moments include looking at how they dealt with an impending second world war, having a child later in life and when man lands on the moon.

Their son, Raymond, grows up in front of our eyes. As world events take place, the timeline progresses. It is a working-class look at the world at large, and the commentary offered can make anyone go, “Hmm.”

Very rarely do audiences get offered a look that’s meaningful to the masses.

Overall, this film is very likeable. Despite having some dark overtones in Ernest’s socialist ideals and we have to watch the inevitable (their death) unfold, this movie is one I wish to examine further with a fine tooth comb. The story is told second hand, through the son’s eyes, and I am anxious for a video release so I can listen to Raymond’s commentary. Writer / Director Roger Mainwood crafted a well-meaning tale and his depth may well add further depth to those moments in Brigg’s parent’s life that he is reflecting on. In the meantime, this product will be making appearances at film festivals like my hometown one in Victoria, BC and art-house screenings.

3½ Stars out of 5

Please visit this movie’s Facebook page for new screening dates.

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