All Good Things – Film Review
* A copy of the DVD of this film will be gifted by 4Digital Media Limited, upon release, following this review.
Christmas in July has become a recent phenomenon and certainly there was the sensation of being transported to the Christmas period whilst watching All Good Things in the summertime!
The opening scene of a model train travelling at Christmas and the promise of well-known actors, Morgan Fairchild and Corbin Bernsen are definitely the lure for All Good Things, which is essentially a Christmas holidays film.
All Good Things is essentially a tale of two sisters as City dwellers who unwillingly learn to appreciate the countryside and its provinces during the Christmas holiday break. Set in Manhattan, it is overall a feel-good film but manages to deliver its message in a rather blunt and clumsy manner.
The beautifully shot panoramic scenes of the vistas in the countryside are some of the elements that redeem the film, however! They are mesmerising and could effectively have had more of a starring role for themselves!
Viewing those aerial shots of the fields, the lake and the vastness of the outdoor space in this section of Washington State did seem reminiscent of Twin Peaks. The cinematography in such moments is certainly impressive and manages to convince the audience to fall in love with the great outdoors too!
The rest of the film however does seem rather formulaic with there being a cause to be fought which unites the sisters with the community resulting in a David v Goliath moment to save their grandparents’ farm.
Indeed, the format of the film appears to have been edited as a series of TV movies spliced together with the camera fading to black at the end of each vignette. This might have been a more effective technique had the film contained more dramatic moments.
Whilst the appeal of this film had been to watch the actors Morgan Fairchild and Corbin Bernsen it was unfortunate that they are not granted a lot of screen time, as the grandparents, and are terribly under-used.
One of the more positive character defining moments in the film is through the exploration of the power of the sense of touch. There is the use of horses as a means of therapy, at the farm owned by the grandparents, with the hypnotic stroking of a horse’s mane employed as a technique for such therapeutic purposes.
The spoilt elder sister, Calista, is also subject to a character transformation whilst in the horses’ stables with one of the workers and undertakes rides in the fields which are captured by beautifully shot aerial views evoking that exhilarating sense of freedom.
It is in those moments that I felt that I was watching an entirely different film and would have preferred to see more scenes of that nature. Alas, the film does not live up to this potential and returns to a predictable trope.
For a Christmas holiday film, this lacked the emotional punch needed for the themes contained. However, it is the ideal feel-good film to watch in the background whilst seated with the family at the table eating Christmas dinner.
All Good Things will be available on Digital and DVD in the UK on July 29th 2019