FairyTale - A True Story, movie review, film review, entertainment

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"FairyTale - A True Story"

"FairyTale -A True Story", the ad says, B E L I E V E and it really convinces you. The cause celebre that fascinated the public in the l9th century, when two young girls took photographs of fairies in Yorkshire, England and created a furor. Inciting public figures, like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini, Peter O'Toole and Harvey Keitel, respectively to take sides and believe in fairies, a need to believe beyond what you can see.

It was so gratifying to see Peter O'Toole on the screen again (much later this year you'll have an opportunity to see him in "Phantoms", with Ben Affleck). Harry Houdini as the skeptic played by Harvey Keitel, is charming as he is questioned whether he believes in fairies. His retort is why not after all his whole life is about magic and illusion as he hugs the two young girls played by Florence Hoath and Elizabeth Earl. Those gossamer sprites are beautifully rendered and indeed we do see fairies. The fact that in 1980 it was revealed that the girls had indeed faked the photos, this is barely glossed over in Charles Sturridge's directorial concept.

Michael Howells' production design of the bottom of the garden where the fairies exist and Michael Coulter photography really emphasized the mystique and beauty of that time, when children could play out in the woods and not be afraid of their wild imaginations. Nick Willing, director of the forthcoming, "Photographing Fairies", declared as an Edwardian X-Files feature, will be an interesting follow-up to this film. I couldn't help but be reminded of Frank Sinatra's song "Young At Heart", it sort of served as an outline for "FairyTale -A True Story".

"FairyTale - A True Story" can come true. It can happen to you if you're young at heart. You can go to extremes with impossible dreams. You can laugh when your schemes fall apart at he seams. And life is more exciting with each passing day and love is in your heart or on its way. And if you should survive to a hundred and five, look at all you'll derive out of being alive. And here is the best part, you'll have a head start, if you are among the very Young At Heart. So maybe all the lyrics aren't there, but the heart of the matter is, B E L I E V E.

FairyTale - A True Story
Paramount Pictures
Produced by: Wendy Finerman, Bruce Davey
Directed by: Charles Sturridge
With: Florence Hoath, Elizabeth Earl, Paul McGann, Phoebe Nicholls, Peter O'Toole, Harvey Keitel
Music by: Zbignew Preisner
Edited by: Peter Coulson
Production designer: Michael Howells
Director of photography: Michael Coulter
Executive producer: Paul Tucker
Story by: Albert Ash, Tom McLoughlin, Ernie Conteras
Screenplay by: Ernie Conteras
Rated: PG
Released: 24 October 1997
Random House Movie Storybook

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Original Date Sunday 26 October 1997
Updated Sunday 26 October 1997