From Time to Time - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

From Time to Time Reviews

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August 26, 2016
When a film story sticks with you, draws you back to re-watch, and re-involves you in successive viewings with detail missed before , you've got a worthy piece of entertainment. Strong acting, time travel, ghosts who appear to those open to seeing, plus Maggie Smith. I really like this period piece... and so did my boyfriend!
June 16, 2015
This wonderful movie will appeal to the mass of Downton Abbey fans - a family friendly movie with a great story and a meaningful character - one of my all time favorites!!
February 28, 2015
Nice film. Very sweet
January 11, 2015
There are some holes in the plot . . . but . . .the fine cast, the mixing of two historical periods, the way the ghosts melt in and out . . . the young boy on the verge of manhood, pushed by the appearance of one special ghost make this truly a family film. I think it is best for children age 10 to 13, although children as young as 8 who are well read and who would understand the periods might enjoy it as well. This is an interesting twist on the coming of age story in which not just the boy grows up but his mother and grandmother as well.
December 29, 2014
I enjoyed "From Time to Time", which I stumbled across via Netflix recommendations and watched during Christmas week 2014. This adaptation of Lucy M. Boston's second Green Knowe book (titled "The Treasure of Green Knowe" in the UK and "The Chimneys of Green Knowe" in the US) was my first introduction to Lucy the six-book series.

After watching the film, I tracked down BBC One's serialized TV adaptation of the series' first book, "The Children of Green Knowe", and found it posted at Youtube. (I prefer the film and am glad I saw it first, but I do plan to read the entire series.) Watching the two shows clarifies some questions while simultaneously introducing some logical inconsistencies.

The "Ah ha" clarifications:
(1) Why does Tolly wear shorts in FTTT?

Answer:
It's a long term habit, carried over from the previous book. It's not - as I'd wondered - because he's dying or already an apparition immune to the seasons or temperature cold.

My 2 cents:
Tolly's short pants may also reflect his boarding school's dress code and/or illustrate his sad status as a neglected child of privilege too often required to look after himself.

(2) Why does Tolly takes special note of certain features of the house, e.g., the St. Christopher sculpture and the portrait (which he notes in the second story has gone missing)?

Answer:
These artifacts figured prominently in the first story.

The "Wait, what?" inconsistencies:

(1) In the second story's film adaptation, Granny Linnet's Tolly's paternal grandmother, and the lad's fond of his mother, who is still alive, in love with, and married to his father. Mum didn't coldheartedly abandon Tolly over Easter break; rather, she thoughtfully sent him to Green Knowe to be with family while she travelled to London to research the whereabouts and fate of Tolly's miltary father David, who went M.I.A. in Germany during WW2. Several factors about the caretaker Boggis make one wonder whether he's dying or has died, and entertain the same considerations about Mrs. Boggis. Also, though I understand the following as a plot device, I can't logically fathom it from a logical standpoint: how in the first story could Tolly, who keenly explored the manor and grounds in the first story, remain unaware until the second story of the water tower, of Maria's burned-down "entertainment" wing, and of the music room that replaced Maria's wing?

(2) In the first story's TV adaptation, Granny Linnet's Tolly's great grandmother (not grandmother), and the lad's not crazy about his stepmother, who calls him Toto and has thoughtlessly abandoned him to be the sole student left at the boarding school during Christmas break, while she's gone off to Burma with Tolly's father. Boggis the caretaker (like Granny) is older and more decrepit in this first screen adaptation than in the second.
½ November 19, 2014
A touching and unexpected story... Step through the carved oak doors and into this fascinating tale.
½ October 1, 2014
Maggie Smith always gives a memorable performance.
September 7, 2014
I love the concept, and there are parts of this movie that are absolutely fantastic, but it's so slow moving it's nearly unbearable. Too bad, because with a bit more action it would have been excellent.
May 27, 2014
This movie feels slow, but it packs a punch where it counts. In the end you just want to see more. A perfectly sad but heartwarming ghost story.
May 17, 2014
I loved this movie! It's perfect for kids thru middle school. But I love kids' movies so it was also perfect for me.
½ January 13, 2014
Enjoyable. Interesting.

Started slow and built up to a good ending. Very good for a British film.

A boy comes to live with his grandmother when his father goes missing in the war. As he stayed at a very old mansion, time seems to blend with the past and current time in the form of ghostly memories and interact together. The grandmother is about to loose the mansion but this adventure must be watched to see the outcome
½ December 18, 2013
Would've been better if it had stuck to ye olde Regency Times with the inter-class manor drama (aka Julian Fellowes THING), rather than shoehorn in the time-travel 1940s bit (which feels like the flea-market version of The Water Horse).
December 17, 2013
I loved this movie. Perfect for a young adult audience and me! The script was well written. I loved to see how the relationships between Maggie Smith and her grandson developed over time. As they found they were both united in their love and worry for Tolly's missing father. The characters were so believeable; good characters make bad decisions and you understand why the bad characters behave poorly. No one is one dimensional or a caricature which grounds the film so that when the main character turns a corner in the house and ends up in the 19th century you get caught up in his desire to figure out the mysteries of the house. I really recommend this film.
it grounded the film making so when the main character turns a corner in the house and ends up in the 19th century you don't think a thing of it.
Super Reviewer
December 16, 2013
In spite of surrounding itself with a very talented cast, this movie isn't more than average. I think there's a made-for-TV feel to this movie, and not in a good way. For a movie about time travelling, there's nothing magical or, really, that exciting going on here. The film sees Tolly, played the absolutely awful Alex Etel, discovering the secrets of Green Knowe by going back and forth in time at random points as he sees Green Knowe's history and figures out its mysteries. Problem is, the film does this without any sense of style or wonder. The time travelling aspects happen just because it's the only way to get Tolly there, it's used as a way to move the story forward and it doesn't really add any sense of magic or wonder to the film. Another thing, Alex Etel, as I mentioned, is just ABSOLUTELY HORRENDOUS in this movie. For a character that is supposed to carry some emotional baggage, as his father is believed to be dead but he's the only one who still has hope, he is just absolutely awful. He's just completely robotic with wooden delivery and actually detracts from the overall quality of the film, not that the film is that good to begin with, but a good lead would've made it a little better. There's this moment in the film where Tolly finds out what happened to Jacob and Susan and Tolly, depressed at what he finds, starts to cry and it was about the worst thing you've ever seen. They only show this for like 3 seconds, before quickly cutting away, because they knew how bad it actually was. On top of that, you have a script that doesn't really create a compelling and magical story, especially with the concept. It sucks that the supporting cast is so good, because their talents are completely wasted and it's a shame. This film might actually have one of the worst leads I've seen since Chris Massoglia in The Hole. Good supporting cast but a lame execution of a decent concept.
September 12, 2013
Fine storytelling and highly entertaining--A Lovely Film From Another Time!!
June 2, 2013
Great movie with not as great of an ending.
May 19, 2013
Need your DOWNTON ABBEY fix? Well until it returns, try this Julian Fellowes cross between THE SECRET GARDEN and DOWNTON ABBEY. It stars Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville and several other DOWNTON cast. It was filmed before the series began. Smith is wonderfully small compared to her Dowager Countess of Grantham. The film plays fast and loose with time travel and fantasy, but there's a big old English country house and plenty of big old English country thespians, including Pauline Collins and Timothy Spall. What more does one require?
½ December 19, 2012
Cute kid's flick with the great Dame Maggie and a gorgeous English county house.
½ November 29, 2012
A sweet sentimental ghost story.
November 12, 2012
I really love Maggie Smith, and found the film to be a solid mystery with unique character development. Not to mention the beautiful old house and surrounding countryside. Jumping "between times" was a little disjointing, however.
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