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There's no point to regretting things that have gone to the trouble of happening.


Dean Spanley
(2008)

A superb film. Low key and quietly magical, so allowing its cast to shine. 

Almost all the performers here have been slumming it for so long that you tend to forget just how good they can be. Jeremy Northam is the sympathetic son of Peter O'Toole's emotionally detached caustic control freak (Northam has to visit on Thursdays, and O'Toole will only eat hotpot). 

He persuades his father to attend a lecture on transmigration of the soul (O'Toole refuses to acknowledge the death of his other son during the Crimean War in any meaningful way). There they meet Sam Neill (outstanding), the Dean of the title, who on drinking a particular liqueur appears to recall a previous incarnation as a dog. Bryan Brown also appears to raucously amusing effect. 

It's very funny, and - finally - very touching.

*****

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