Tom's Midnight Garden | Chicago Reader

Tom's Midnight Garden

A teenage boy staying with his aunt and uncle shortly after World War II discovers that when their clock strikes 13 a lush Victorian garden appears, beckoning him back to the 1890s. The mechanism of his nocturnal visits takes a lot of explaining, but it serves to connect an elegant 19th century to a far more practical 20th century for a lesson about what we choose to remember. Willard Carroll wrote and directed this skillful British feature; it's the sort of wholesome, quasi-sci-fi material that calls for the childlike ingenuity of a Spielberg, yet Carroll is too earnest, a trait echoed by Debbie Wiseman's bombastic score. With Anthony Way, Greta Scacchi, James Wilby, and Joan Plowright, waxing marvelously nostalgic as the aunt and uncle's landlady.

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