Wondrous Oblivion (2006)



Critic Consensus: This coming-of-age/cricket tale wants to be touching, but is too often sappy.

Movie Info

Eleven year old David Wiseman loves to play cricket but is no good at it. When a Jamaican family move in next door and builds a cricket net in the back garden, David is in seventh heaven. But this is 1960s England, and when the neighbors start to make life difficult for the new arrivals, David's Jewish family is caught in the middle, and he has to choose between fitting in and standing up for the new friends who have turned his world upside down.

Rating: PG (for thematic material, some violence, sensuality, language including racial remarks, and brief smoking by minors)
Genre: Drama, Kids & Family, Art House & International, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Paul Morrison
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 20, 2007
Palm Pictures



as David Wiseman

as Dennis Samuels

as Pritchard

as Ruth

as Grace Samuels

as Judy Samuels

as Lilian

as Dorothy Samuels

as W.G. Grace

as Mrs. Wilson

as Garry Sobers

as Mrs. Glickstein

as Head Teacher

as James Bryce
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Wondrous Oblivion

All Critics (43) | Top Critics (17)

Wondrous Oblivion is a timeless tale of an 11-year-old South London boy putting aside boyish things. Writer-director Paul Morrison affirms PG-rated life lessons that could appeal to 11-year-olds and their elders alike.

Full Review… | January 12, 2007
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

For all its bright-hued nostalgia (the cricket greens are practically incandescent), Wondrous Oblivion edges up to hard truths, most powerfully expressed in Lindo's towering performance.

Full Review… | December 30, 2006
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

You don't have to know anything about the sport of cricket to be charmed by Wondrous Oblivion, a British film that is finally getting a well-deserved theatrical release after opening the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival in 2004.

Full Review… | December 22, 2006
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

It's a delight to see Delroy Lindo -- perpetually cast as tough cops and tougher crooks -- playing a tender father and decent (if struggling) husband.

Full Review… | November 6, 2006
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic

The film feels like the Cliffs Notes version of what might have been a much longer and certainly more satisfying story.

Full Review… | November 3, 2006
Top Critic

It loses direction, turning contrived and sentimental.

November 3, 2006
New York Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Wondrous Oblivion

[font=Century Gothic]"Wondrous Oblivion" takes place in South London in 1960 where David Wiseman(Sam Smith) is the child of Jewish refugees(Emily Woof & Stanley Townsend). He attends a private school where despite his love for the sport of cricket, he cannot play a lick. One day, the Wisemans get new neighbors from Jamaica. The father(Delroy Lindo) builds a cricket pitch in his backyard to coach his daughter, Judy(Leonie Elliott), in the sport. And soon he is also coaching David, too...[/font]

[font=Century Gothic]"Wondrous Oblivion" is an amiable bit of anti-nostalgia that is well-meaning to the hilt. It deftly avoids the sugarcoating that usually occurs with coming-of-age movies, in order to explore the racism and prejudice of the day, while also promoting the broadening of one's horizons. The movie is about how a society improves and diversifies itself by embracing the children of immigrants by way of the dominant culture. In the movie, this is embodied in cricket(And there is a creative use for a cricket ball in the movie.) where playing and having fun are important, not winning. [/font]

Walter M.

Super Reviewer


The term "Coming of Age" has become somewhat of a cliché, but director Paul Morrison has given audiences such a well-crafted, beautifully-rendered tale, that an obligatory inclusion by this reviewer of the term will be quite forgiven here. Think: Air Raid Araby. It tends to be heavy-handed at times, but the spot-on performances carry the weight splendidly.

In this PG-13-rated drama Wondrous Oblivion, a young Jewish boy (Sam Smith III) learns to tackle adversity in post-war 1940s England after his Jamaican neighbors teach him the game of cricket.

A cross between Barry Levinson's American fable Avalon and the British hit Billy Elliot, Wondrous Oblivion wears its well-worn adversity theme like a badge...but, because the scenario is wholly original, not to point of being over-bearing. Rather, this import plays out breezily, stumbling only slightly when the story veers off into an unnecessary sub-plot featuring the boy's mother (Woof) and mentor neighbor (Lindo). Should they remain oblivious to this rub, however, moviegoers will enjoy two hours of near-wonderment.

Bottom line: Wondrously told.

Jeff B.
Jeff Boam

Super Reviewer

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