Cider with Rosie (TV Movie 2015) - Cider with Rosie (TV Movie 2015) - User Reviews - IMDb
Cider with Rosie (TV Movie 2015) Poster

(2015 TV Movie)

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A slow, well meaning drama.
revans-583683 October 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I'll try to submit a balanced review, having read through the other reviews submitted here I can see where both are coming from. Post first world War and life was slowly returning to normal, many families were left with no fathers, and life was tough. The story focuses on young Loll, seeing his transformation from a child into a young adult. The best element was Samantha Morton, she gave a terribly sweet, caring and sincere characterisation of Loll's mum Annie. She did well by her children, and remained desperate for the return of her absent husband. The acting was a little school play at times, but I'll applaud young Georgie Smith. It is a little slow in parts, but having read the book several times it was very much intended. I'd imagine it will be the feature of many a GCSE pupils project for years to come.
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Halcyon days...
Adams590527 September 2015
A truly magical production, enjoyed all the more for not being encumbered with an all-star cast (although Samantha Morton was rather wonderful as the author's mother, Annie, and Timothy Spall rolled his 'r's in an authentic Gloucestershire accent, narrating with excerpts taken directly from the book as the author himself).

The film was dotted with cameos, perhaps most notably Annette Crosbie as Granny Trill, and there are lots of recognizable faces, but the whole cast performed their tasks in an understated and businesslike fashion-a large cast, as the film dips in and out of different periods of the author's early life in a seemingly random fashion, reminiscent of the book upon which it was based.

Quite how the production team managed to return Slad (the actual village where Lee grew up) to its pre-war look, I have no idea, but it worked beautifully, and the English countryside never looked more alluring. When Lee published Cider With Rosie in 1959, he acknowledged that this world had already passed us by forever, so to re-create it for a Sunday night TV drama was no mean feat...

The costumes were right, the language was right-even the slang, and there was just the right amount of magic dust sprinkled throughout the whole film...

Cider With Rosie used to be part of every English schoolboy's literary canon, but has recently fallen out of favour. I hope there were enough English Literature teachers watching who remember how good & enjoyable a work this is, and will start setting it again as a required text. I know this was part of a short season of BBC modern literary dramatizations, but I hope that in this case, the BBC might consider commissioning an adaptation of the sequel, 'As I Stepped Out One Midsummer's Morning', which has been woefully neglected over the years...

All in all, a marvellous production, not to be missed-it has, in one stroke, re-established my faith in BBC drama... For those of you yet to see it-I'm jealous!..
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Vivid Recreation of a Lost World
l_rawjalaurence18 October 2015
Philippa Lowthorpe's production used a three-level narrative to tell Laurie Lee's charming story of growing up in the First World War and beyond. The adult Laurie Lee (Timothy Spall) read extracts from the source-text in voice-over, setting the story in context and explaining why certain incidents were important. The narrative oscillates between the middle of the First World War when the young Lol (Georgie Smith) goes to school for the first time and tries to respond to the events around him; and the postwar era when the older Loll (Archie Cox) copes with adolescence and his sexual feelings for Rosie (Ruby Ashbourne Serkis). The unifying element between the two narratives was Annie, Laurie's mother (Samantha Morton), charged with the responsibility of bringing up a large family on her own.

This CIDER WITH ROSIE worked hard to recreate life in a small village in which everyone "looked after their own," as the adult Lee put it. Everyone knows everyone else, which has its disadvantages as well as its advantages. The adolescent Loll discovers this to his cost in school when his nascent romantic feelings become a subject for class ribaldry. On the other hand the class discover some kind of strength in community, especially when it comes to rebelling against sadistic teacher Miss Buckley (Sarah Sweeney). In one climactic sequence Spadge Hopkins (Jack Harris) picks the teacher up and places her on the desk in front of the class to almost universal acclaim.

Life might have been idyllic for the young Loll, but uncomfortable reality keeps breaking in. Director Lowthorpe is very good at emphasizing the contrast between the child Loll playing soldiers with a piece of wood and a colander on his head, and the genuine fear of deserter James (Billy Howle) as he tries to conceal himself from the military police. Loll has no real idea what is going on, as witnessed in the sequence where James is finally arrested, and the little boy wails: "I didn't tell them!"

The production contains two comic cameos from June Whitfield and Annette Crosbie as the two grannies living on their own at the top and bottom of a house and communicating with one another by banging their sticks on the floor. The young Loll has a particularly touching moment with Granny Trill (Crosbie), who keeps playing with her hair, when he implies that she is wearing a wig. The child's ingenuousness exposes adult pretensions.

The climax of the production comes when the adolescent Loll and Rosie hide under a cart to drink cider. This is the moment when they finally discover the pleasures of sexual contact, as well as drinking alcohol. Although it is only a fleeting moment, never to be repeated, it is an ecstatic one: Loll lies down in a filthy puddle, his clothes saturated in mud, and recalls the feelings associated with it.

CIDER WITH ROSIE is not particularly dramatic, but its evocation of a lost world is both touching and nostalgic. All credit to everyone involved in this charming production.
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Absolutely shocking
Sleepin_Dragon28 September 2015
I'm sorry to be at odds with the other reviewer, but what a total shambles this was. I've given glowing reviews of An Inspector calls and the excellent go between, as well as a fairly good review of Lady Chatterley, but the final instalment of the Beeb's twentieth Century drama remakes was awful. I love Timothy Spall, but his narration was like scratching down a blackboard, after a while it became really irritating. The acting was woeful, truly the worst I've seen on a historical drama for about 20 years. Thank goodness for the 3 or 4 minutes that June Whitfield and Annette Crosbie were in it, they added a little humour and showed us what acting is. I hate knocking anyone for trying but some of the accents were so bad that at times it felt like all that was missing were The Two Ronnies sat at their allotment. 3/10 a total yawn fest.
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Playing sodgers
Prismark1014 November 2015
Cider with Rosie is a text that almost everyone seems to read at school. I never did read the whole book but was always given extracts to work on. I expected this would be some kind of nostalgia filled reminiscence of childhood in Gloucestershire.

I liked young Loll surrounded in a busy household playing sodgers (sic) in the middle of The Great War. However it is a childhood where his father is absent and young Loll does not understand the brutality of the war or the deserter hiding in the woods.

At school he sits between two girls who will have an influence in his childhood and even his adult life.

The older Loll lacks the sweetness of his younger self, being gawky like many adolescents. However he discovers that at times the villagers need to stick together such as when the domineering teacher is placed on top of the cupboard to the delight of the rest of the class or in a more darker turn when a returning ex-pat, now wealthy is killed and robbed.

June Whitfield and Annette Crosbie play the two grannies living on the top and bottom of a house who communicate with each other by banging their broom handles on the floor or the ceiling.

Eventually Loll has that romantic encounter under the cart with Rosie fuelled with cider which acts as a sort of climax to the story.

I have to say this was not a great adaptation even though it was busy in places. We are told that Loll's mother went to see her husband after the war but we got to know little about him or why he abandoned his family. The 1998 television film gave more details about this.

This version of the film had narration by Timothy Spall as the voice of Laurie Lee reading extracts from the book in a very florid dialect which sounded unnatural and over the top to my ears. The 1998 film had narration recorded by Laurie Lee himself just before he died and that sounded more naturalistic.

However director Philippa Lowthorpe has worked hard to bring a different nuance to this version of the film.
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I love it
Kirpianuscus11 February 2018
...not only for story - nostalgic, seductive, bitter and soft - but for atmosphere. for an England who , for a Eastern European like me, is almost mythological. for Samantha Morton giving a beautiful performance. for the poetry of images . for something who is real personal. memories, crumbs of memories, gentle change of a young man, family, a village life and unique forms of joy. and something more. out of words. but great and usefull and protective.
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Soak in this magical story
mickgmovies1 August 2020
This story of a life in simpler times, was magical.

It reminded me of how busy we've all got, and how we've lost the connection to community and nature with our busy city lives.

The movie sits in a time between the two world wars, and shows the strength of women, and the family bond.

This is a simple movie. Not one with outstanding acting or huge moments. It is slowly told, with sincerity and an eye for the beauty in moments.

Take some time to escape, and soak in this magical story
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Beautiful scenery - shame about the story & acting! Avoid!
vinden_grace8 November 2019
Having lived in Cheltenham & explored the Cotswolds a lot, we were looking forward to this, but what a waste of time! If my hadn't been suffering with flu, we would have switched off. (It was all she could concentrate on.)

Glorious filming of the countryside. 1 point. Samantha Morton was very good. 1 pt. Tim Spall's accent & voiceover were very good too. 1 pt. Acting overall - terrible! Story is so inconsequential as to be worthy of no more than a 5 minute film. Avoid!
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Best ever adaptation of a major British literary work
davidhutchinson528 October 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I couldn't agree more with Adams 5905's review. This is the first time I've ever seen a TV drama recreation that brings the original novel to life in such a remarkable way. Everything about this production was simply perfect - from the beauty of the rural landscape to the capture of the feel of the time, the eccentricities of the characters, the dialogue, the accents, the sense of timelessness - the teenage angst, and the fact that everything was not just idyllic - i.e the murder in the village and the hunting down of the deserter... And Tim Spall's reading of the original poetic ramblings from the novel - Spall just goes from strength to strength! I read this book around 1964, when I was 12. I was dimly aware of the two sequels, and have just dug out my paperback original, and ordered the other two books online. Nostalgia-fest 'till Christmas and beyond!!

Thank you BBC!!
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Too many flashbacks
bobkatbf15 October 2020
Too many flashbacks. For a little while they are young kids. Then teens etc. Then go back to young kids & then teens. It was like following a bouncing ball
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bmesser5 October 2020
Could only be done as a series of one hour episodes. Child actors all cast too old.
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