The Borrowers (1997)

The Borrowers ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Director: Peter Hewitt. Cast: John GoodmanMark WilliamsJim Broadbent 

Here’s a pleasant surprise I had completely missed when it was first released in 1997: a film aimed unashamedly at children (and all the better for it) and yet with production values as high as any big blockbuster of the time. The attention to details particularly in the set design and props is one of the things that makes this such a joy to watch as an adult, while the children will enjoy the action romp, the great pacing throughout with flashes of “Honey I shrunk the kids” and a lot of “Home alone” in it, lots of quirky little cameo roles from known faces (including a very young Tom Felton, the future Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies), all wrapped up in one of the many score by Hans Zimmer at the time.

One could not really ask for a lot more in a family flick.

“The Borrowers” was made in 1997, at the height of good practical visual effects which had yet been completely spoilt by the over-use (or abuse) of CGI: film-makers still had to find clever ways to actually stage their actions scenes, as opposed to lazily and slavishly relying on the computer. I was quite surprised by how well some of the effects actually still held up today. My only slight quibble was with Jim Broadbent’s performance. I usually like the guy both in comedies and dramas, but on this one I felt he was miscast as he was on a different register as everybody else, over-acting his way through as if to compensate for the small size of his character.

Other than that a big thumb up if you want to watch something with your kids.

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