She was the oddest of oddballs.
Bella Brown came into this world in a most peculiar way. Abandoned at a park, protected by ducks and found by a stranger, first impressions left their mark on Bella Brown.
She came to live in a small flat creating order in her corner of the world. For, Bella was preoccupied with order and surrounded herself with what brought her delight – books, lots of books. She was, however, terrified by nature and shunned the little garden behind her home. Much to her neighbor’s dismay.
All Bella wanted to do was make a difference. And to write a children’s book….yet, her book doesn’t yet have a story.
solitary in his own way and a bit grumpy by it, felt abandoned in his own world simply wishing for someone to listen to him. A lover and protector of all things growing, Alfie despised Bella’s neglect of her garden; finding the garden’s neglect unforgivable and calling her garden a ‘horticultural graveyard’.
He, in fact, felt Bella was there to test him and all who came into her path.
A Modern Day Fairy Tale
Woven together, This Beautiful Fantastic has all the good elements of a fairy tale…an innocent – Bella, her adversary– Alfie; enchantment – the world of gardens, inventions, travel and moonlight. In the end, this tale touches several truths…through the players, through their lives, how they interact and how they come together for an….
Bella must face and change her neglected garden in short order and in short time. Out of desperation, she enlists her nemesis, Alfie, who agrees and shares one of his most beloved treasures with Bella, a book; a book On Discovering a Garden…
“Creating a garden starts as an interest and soon becomes a lifetime’s obsession one that can be engaged at a moment’s notice by simply stepping outside”
A Beautiful Fantastic
brings together characters, all oddballs in their own right. Vernon, a marvelous cook who learned how to cook young, out of necessity; Vernon’s daughters – sweet, knowing twins; Billy, a bit chaotic, an inventor, creator, sees the beauty in design and in sculptures, describing one as “tons of marble simply float – defies gravity with it’s beauty – destroys logic with emotion…”; Milly, Alfie’s kind and long-suffering doctor; and Bramble, Bella’s employer at the library, who demands strict adherence to time and to the rules that govern libraries.
This task and Alfie’s book open up to Bella the world of gardening, the beauty that Billy shows her, the creations and flavors that Vernon cooks for her, these things and these people in Bella’s life slowly transform her world bringing into it color, life and revealing what Alfie saw: a prospect, a spark a seed waiting to grow.
Bella Begins to Tell a Tale
When Billie shows her his proudest creation, he asks Bella to tell him a story about it….woven throughout This Beautiful Fantastic, is a story that becomes Bella’s story, become’s Alfie’s story and these oddest of oddballs do, in the end, make a difference to each other.
I was completely enchanted by this modern day fairy tale. I realized at the end, I was smiling throughout – even in the darkest parts…there was conflict, hope, despair…joy. I was charmed by the telling of this story, of Bella, of Alfie, of Vernon, of Billie and even of Bramble. This story brought together things that are dear to my heart, gardens, books, libraries, order, disorder, whimsy and enchantment. I believe that we all possess that wonderful spark which makes us all different and the knowledge – that no matter who we are, no matter what we’re like – we all can make a difference.
This Beautiful Fantastic is one of those movies Dearest and I will watch over and over again. I find there are quotes and take-aways I want to keep in my life. This is what we do, we often say, “every one is weird but us”. I suppose we all are oddballs wishing to make a difference – I know that’s true of me.
WRITTEN BY Simon Aboud
DIRECTOR Simon Aboud
PRODUCED BY: Andrea Iervolino, Monika Barcardi, Christine Alderson, Kami Naghdi, Matt Treadwell
Executive Producers: Iliane Ogilvie Thompson, Jennifer Levine, Phil Hunt, Norman Merry, Peter Hampden, Compton Ross
CAST: Jessica Brown Findlay, Tom Wilkinson, Andrew Scott, Anna Chancellor, Jeremy Irvine