Some of the film’s more sentimental moments are also some of the best… But at the same time that Boorman seduces us with such enchantments, he also deceives us with a crafty little googly of his own—persuading us that he is embarking on a fresh adventure while aiming straight for the heart of old-fashioned English cinema.
Films like this, that look at the horrors of war, from the POV of a child are truly the most riveting of them all. What makes this film stand out from the others is that at the Golden Globes in 1987, this beat more popular films like Moonstruck, Broadcast News, Baby Boom, and Dirty Dancing to win Best Comedy/Musical, and you want to know something? They got it right that year. It was the best.
A charming tale...and that scene at the end where the schoolchildren are celebrating the bombing of their school is hilarious, reinforcing how children try to cope with such horrible catastrophes as war.
There's no time like the present--and when ever is there, really?--to revisit Boorman's urgent reminder of the poignant delights of war, so salutary in their disruptions (rip up home, school, family and start again), their freedoms (not least those involving knickers), and their contributions to the production of googly-grade cricketers. In its perversity, H&G, not remotely unsentimental, homes in on why we fight.