Saturday, February 14, 2015

Movie Review ... What We Did On Our Holiday


What We Did On Our Holiday posterThe best stories usually revolve around families.  Whether literal or groups of close friends, the familial unit allows all types of tales and reactions to surface.  ‘What We Did on Our Holiday’ is a satisfactory addition to the formula.  A light drama full of genuine pathos and solid performances, it shows that blood ties can affect generations.

Travelling with their three children to the Scottish Highlands estranged couple Doug (David Tennant) and Abi (Rosamund Pike) look forward to a break.  Arriving to visit Doug’s father Gordie (Billy Connolly) for his birthday, the family are eager to celebrate.  Other plans quickly de-rail the festivities.  Secrets surface and loyalties tested as everyone realises how fluid familial bonds can be.

‘What We Did on Our Holiday’ is a breezy affair imparting few messages.  Exploring how lies constrict people from communicating and the damage caused, it is interesting how each generation deals with conflict.  The children in particular are free of the burden of the frustrated dreams of their parents with the adults indulging in worse mis-behaviour.  Forced to examine their parenting, Doug and Abi have to find a way to re-establish parental boundaries in order to protect their family.

The fine ensemble creates a believable group of odd characters.  Their emotions can be seen in any large family trying to work together in maintaining personal connections.  Their quirky natures mirror the sly comedy even if the direction occasionally skims over the edge of sentimentality.  It is careful never to cross into silliness with various situations grounded in some form of reality.  The Scottish locations add to the emotional remoteness all feel. 

‘What We Did on Our Holiday’ isn’t perfect but it successfully raises a few laughs.  Full of charm with genuine poignancy, it plays to the actor’s strengths and underscores the old saying ‘you can choose your friends but never your family’.

  What We Did On Our Holiday 998

Movie Review Rating out of 10:  6

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

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Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at movie releases in Australia.


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