Celia, somehow, feels like a revolutionary text. Perhaps it's the link it vividly draws between the scapegoating of "invasive species" (still resonating), perhaps because the emotional lives of children aren't rendered innocent enough to warrant corruption. The casual violence of the adult world infiltrates the magic realm of children, and the sanctimony of government will (still) reap its own dissent. 4.5
4.5 stars. So very heartening to be excited by a film again. One of the most emotionally intelligent examinations of morality that it has been my privilege to watch. Recognises that any system of justice is a [socially sanctioned] magic ritual. Celia's acts of violence are revolutionary stagings of political dissidence, which is why the film's only mis-step **SPOILER WARNING** is that she leaves the dog to die.
An uneven but truly unusual genre-defying gem which works at many levels. Turner conveys brilliantly how the dysfunction and barely concealed violence of the adult world unleashes violent disturbance in the children. She raises questions around sexual inequality, politics, social conformity and scapegoating, all seen through the eyes of a sensitive young girl with whom we empathise even as she loses her innocence.
In the adult world, the anti-communist witch hunts are as bizarre and hysterical as the war on rabbit vermin, which draws on a similar nationalistic polemic. In the children's world we see the crude seeds of the adult - territory, loyalty, honour, betrayal, cruelty, revenge, superstition, amoral self-preservation, profound love, friendship and bloodshed. Celia the meeting place of all things, good and bad.
Heavens to Murgatroyd! I loved this when I saw it 25 years ago and it clearly made a major impression (certainly the neighbour Alice Tanner did about whom I recall having a definite thing) because I seem to remember every scene vividly. A powerful, imaginative, entrancing and thoroughly engrossing evocation of childhood and a child's impression of the mysterious goings on in the adult world.
I loved this film when I saw it at the Gothenborg Film Festival in the 1980:s I was so taken by it that I think I instantly liked Seoirse Ronan in Atonement just because she looks like the little girl in Celia- who loves rabbits and her dad beyond anything in the world!