Fireflies in the Garden (15)
Sunday 31 May 2009
In Fireflies in the Garden, Ryan Reynolds heads an overqualified ensemble cast to play a writer who's just finished a warts-and-all novel about his childhood. He then flies to the rural Midwest to visit his parents, Willem Dafoe and Julia Roberts (in old-woman make-up), but, just before he arrives, Roberts is killed in a car accident, which is the cue for hugs, recriminations, and numerous flashbacks to Reynolds' formative years. Emily Watson, his aunt, scolds him for writing a scandalous roman-à-clef which will lay bare the family's darkest secrets, so you'd assume that the flashbacks would reveal some pretty juicy traumas. No such luck. The crux of this dawdling, self-indulgent melodrama is that Dafoe is a cold father, but his paternal tyrannies are so insignificant that Reynolds would be lucky to get a short story out of them.
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 2 Christmas comes early to Hong Kong, as millions of bank notes spill out onto busy street
- 3 Antonio Martin shooting: Police and protesters clash over teenager's death just five miles from Ferguson, Missouri
- 4 Northern Lights above Britain: Stunning Aurora Borealis illuminates Northumberland sky on Christmas Eve
- 5 British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Christmas Day TV guide 2014: What to watch from Strictly Come Dancing to the story of Frozen
Best underrated Christmas movies: From Trading Places to While You Were Sleeping
Game of Thrones season five: First preview clip shows a beardy Tyrion, a moody Cersei and a distressed Arya
The Interview is finally released after Sony hack and terror threats – but reviews of North Korea satire are mixed
Christmas TV guide 2014: The best shows to watch from Doctor Who to Downton Abbey
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food