Fairy Tale: A True Story

Director: Charles Sturridge
Writer: Ernie Contreras
Director of Photography:Michael Coulter
Editor:Peter Coulson
Music:Zbigniew Preisner
Production Designer:Michael Howells
Producers:Wendy Finerman and Bruce Davey
Paramount; PG; 97 minutes
Cast:Florence Hoath, Elizabeth Earl, Paul McGann, Phoebe Nicholls, Peter O'Toole, Harvey Keitel, Bill Nighy and Tim McInnerny
Based on a story by Albert Ash, Tom McLoughlin and Ernie Contreras

When it comes to kiddie fare, parents have recently had to content themselves with animated blockbusters or sophomoric action adventures. It's fortunate that the enchanting Fairy Tale is an anomaly. As England struggles with World War I and its physical and emotional wounds, two young girls offer reason to believe in and hope for a spirit world. Elsie Wright (Hoath) immediately bonds with her cousin, Frances Griffiths (Earl), who moves to England from Africa after her mother dies while her father's away at war. Elsie is dealing with her own pain, as her brother recently lost a bout with pneumonia. The girls spend much of their time in the countryside, where they claim to have seen a family of fairies. They catch the sprites on film and set off a heated controversy as to the authenticity of the photos. Stepping into the fray are spiritualist Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (O'Toole) and cynic Harry Houdini (Keitel). You don't have to be a believer to believe in this film.

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