HOPE AND GLORY is a wonderful film, an intelligent, heartfelt, personal, and marvelously entertaining look at what it was like to grow up in wartorn England.
A semiautobiographical project from British director John Boorman, the film depicts nine-year-old Bill (Sebastian Rice-Edwards) as he experiences the wonders of WWII from his suburban London home. While Americans may find it somewhat disconcerting to see the Blitz and its horrors made the setting
for a nostalgic comedy, for Boorman's young boy the war was a particularly exciting and vivid time, and a joyous feeling permeates the film. The total upheaval of the staid family order, the lack of normal restrictions and discipline, and the liberating effect the war had on women are all
brilliantly conveyed by Boorman, because he views the war from a child's perspective.
Told in a series of vignettes, HOPE AND GLORY unfolds in a surprisingly nonchalant manner, dispensing its vividly realized observations at every turn. Boorman skillfully combines nuggets of truth with moments of mirth and is always prepared to surprise and amuse without sentimentalizing.
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