My Life So Far

Director:Hugh Hudson
Writer:Simon Donald
Miramax Films; 93 minutes; PG-13
Cast:Colin Firth, Irene Jacob, Rosemary Harris, Robbie Norman

My Life So Far cross breeds period drama with coming of age. Set in a Scottish castle between World Wars, the film follows Fraser Pettigrew (Norman) as he bumbles through his tenth year, trying to make sense out of his grandfather's adult books as well as his father's full-blown lust. From this situation familiar familial subplots proceed: death of a matriarch, strangers courting siblings, the quirky inventor and his failed doo-dads, etc.

Chariots of Fire director Hugh Hudson creates an aura of quiet saga. As period pieces go, My Life is seamlessly rendered, creating a whole world whose calm is interrupted by a crash-landing pilot and the arrival of Uncle Morris' lovely French wife. Framing the story around a boy allows for a successful interplay between innocence and experience, an oddly human tale for a family that lives in a castle