DIRECTOR Guy Browning
CAST Tom Mitchelson, Alice Zawadzki, Tom Yates, Mike Kemp
Tom has moved back from London to work in the manor house gardens: he can talk to plants but is painfully shy when it comes to women. When he falls head-over-heels for gorgeous Polish au pair Anya, the whole village gives him the encouragement he needs to win her heart. A charming romantic comedy, made on a tiny budget with the participation of almost the entire Oxfordshire village of Kingston Bagpuize. (2012 UK 84 minutes)
Tom, gardener at the big house, is not a fast mover with women. In fact he's glacially slow. When beautiful Polish au pair Anya arrives for the summer, Tom falls for her catastrophically like the felling of one of the giant trees he cares for in the manicured grounds. Tom's adviser in matters of the heart is young Harry, abandoned by the rich owners of the house to run wild in the gardens. Harry's secret wish is for the Red Arrows to appear at the village fair: Tom's is to win the heart of Anya. Both seem impossible dreams until the whole village decides to lend a hand.
BBFC advice: Contains a moderate sex reference Further Parental Advice
"It takes a village to raise a child, as the African proverb goes. The villagers of Kingston Bagpuize have gone one further: they’ve raised a romcom. It’s the brainchild of ex-Guardian columnist (and real-life Bagpuize local) Guy Browning, making his debut as a writer-director. The cast is made up of residents of the Oxfordshire village (who financed the film to the tune of up to £1,000 each) and actors of course, with the Women’s Institute handling the catering. They even talked MP Ed Vaizey into making a cameo. (One for the Big Society?)
Browning tailors the plot to the village’s best asset: its stately pile, where gardener Tom (Tom Mitchelson) falls in love with the Polish au pair (Alice Zawadzki). Fans of Browning’s columns will recognise the script’s gentle-poke satire. Here’s a villager explaining the British boarding school system to the au pair: ‘Rich people do it to spend more time with their dogs.’
It’s sharper than your average Britcom, and perfectly charming, so you’ll forgive a bit of amateurism and wooden acting."
UK RELEASE 13 July 2012
RUNNING TIME 84 minutes
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