Tom Wilkinson

A thin story undermines whimsical drama 'This Beautiful Fantastic'

A thin story undermines whimsical drama 'This Beautiful Fantastic'

Writer-director Simon Aboud’s “This Beautiful Fantastic” is most easily described as “Amélie Lite.” The plinky, fantastical score, careful compositions and stylized performances draw comparisons to Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s 2001 classic, but throw in a dark-haired, doe-eyed ingenue and the parallels are impossible to ignore. That inspiration, if you will, would be fine, but the thin story strains under the weight of all that whimsy.

The film takes place in present-day London, but its retro stylings feel like an earlier era. Bella (Jessica Brown Findlay) is an orphan who was left in a basket by the river. She’s grown up into an oddball loner, an aspiring writer who works in a...

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