Saturday, 22 February 2014


England, towards the end of World War II. 13 year-old Tolly is sent by his mother to the countryside to spend Christmas with his grandmother, Mrs Oldknow, at Green Knowe, the family's ancestral home. There, he finds that he is able to travel back in time to 1805.
In the past Tolly quickly gets involved in the adventures of Susan, the young blind daughter of Captain Oldknow, and her friend Jacob. The boy unravels a mystery which has bewildered his family for almost  two centuries.

From Time to Time is a 2009 British film adapted from The Chimneys of Green Knowe (1958), the second book in the Green Knowe children's novel series by Lucy M. Boston (1892-1990). It is written and directed by Julian Fellowes, Academy Award winner for Gosford Park (2001) and creator of the popular ITV period drama Downton Abbey (2010). From Time to Time (Le secret de Green Knowe in French) is now available on DVD in France thanks to Koba Films.

Julian Fellowes fell in love with the books as a child and wanted to make a Green Knowe film for several years. His Oscar gave him freedom to develop the project and he chose to adapt The Chimneys of Green Knowe, his favourite book of the series. Producer Liz Trubridge, who later produced Downton Abbey, and Julian Fellowes took the script to Ealing Studios.

Fellowes wrote the part of the grandmother specifically for Maggie Smith to bring nuance to Mrs Oldknow and her relationship with Tolly, played convincingly by Alex Etel (Cranford, Millions). Eliza Hope Bennett (Susan) and Kwayedsa Kureya (Jacob) are very good too. The three young actors are amongst a great cast including Timothy Spall (Boggis), Pauline Collins (Mrs Tweedle), Hugh Bonneville (Captain Oldknow) and Dominic West (Caxton).

Koba Films releases From Time to Time with its French dubbing and the original dialogue track (with optional French subtitles). Bonus material consists of a trailer and a conversation with Julian Fellowes. Green Knowe is actually a 15th century Tudor manor house called Athelhampton House in Dorchester, Dorset.

From Time to Time is a very enjoyable family film. French fans of Hugh Bonneville now can also watch him in Ed Blum's brilliant film Scenes of a Sexual Nature (2006), recently released on DVD by Koba.

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