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Tortoise in Love


Stars: Tom Mitchelson, Alice Zawadzki, Tom Yates, Mike Kemp, Lesley Staples, Duncan Armitage, Steven Elder, Des Brittain

Director: Guy Browning

This rural romance is like an episode of Midsomer Murders, done by a (very) amateur dramatic society - but without the murders. The script has its moments, but the acting is probably the worst you will see on screen this year, not helped by Browning's hesitant direction.

Tom (Mitchelson) is an assistant gardener in (real-life) Kingston Bagpuize, good-looking but unbelievably shy with women. He does fall for au pair Anya (Polish violinist Zawadzki), but cannot bring himself to do anything about it, until the young son (Yates) of his employers traps them together.

Mitchelson looks like Hugh Grant but with none of the talent; as an actress Zawadzki is a good violinist; and the only decent performance in the entire film comes from Lucy Aitken as a granny allegedly short of a marble or two.

Some of the dialogue isn't bad, but always delivered with a total lack of timing. The endless end credits include, if you're still a) awake and b) in the cinema, numerous nods to caterers and other people who have nothing to do with the making of the picture. Still, the photography is pretty, and it should go down a bomb Bagpuize.

David Quinlan

UK 2011. UK Distributor: Miracle/Immense Production. Colour (unspecified).
84 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 12 Jul 2012