Film Review: This Beautiful Fantastic

This Beautiful Fantastic  Is A Great Film To Escape Into

Reviewed by Daniel Dercksen (15/ 06/17)

The emotional truth British writer-director Sam Aboud forms with his utterly charming contemporary fairy tale This Beautiful Fantastic tells the alluring story of the unlikely bond between a reclusive, agoraphobic young woman and a cantankerous old widower. Read interview with Simon Aboud.



It’s a sentimental and life-affirming film about hopeful dreams, lost love and newfound friendships, showing how rewarding it is escape from the prisons of privacy we create for ourselves, and welcome other people into our lives to awaken our humanity.

Jessica Brown Findlay is superb as the reclusive Bella who dreams of being a children’s book author, with Tom Wilkinson in top form as her wealthy landlord and amazing horticulturalist Alfie, with great support from Andrew Scott as a single father and ‘housekeeper/ cook’, and Jeremy Irvine as an impassioned inventor of mechanical toys.

At the heart of this story lies Bella’s neglected garden, and when she is forced to bring the garden back to life or face eviction, a magical friendship blossoms as Alfie teaches Bella about life and love through the metaphor of gardening and Bella reminds Alfie of what it feels like to be alive.

Ultimately, Aboud’s wonderful script is not simply a romantic story of blossoming love and a coming-of-age comedy, but a deceptively layered narrative that reveals the touching story of a man making his way to death and a young woman struggling to make sense of life who find each other and form an unlikely friendship.

This Beautiful Fantastic is a great film to escape into and make sense of the unnecessary complications that cause us to withdraw from life, instead of living it to the fullest and making the most of what is within our reach.

If there’s one thing this film will achieve, is for you to step out into your garden and bring it to life. And even if you don’t have a garden, you will create one no matter where you live, as The Beautiful Fantastic reminds us of the connection we should have to nature and how important it is to celebrate its magic.