Wondrous Oblivion

Formulaic sure-fire hit couples cricket and racism

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One of those ‘sweet’ British ‘issue’ movies (see East Is East, Billy Elliot) which feeds a valid point to the great unwashed by piling treacle on top of syrup, this inexplicably-titled comedy drama from Paul Morrison is hard to dislike. You know it’s lame, and about as grittily real as The Full Monty, but it does its warm-glow thing with professional panache.

Eleven-year-old David (Sam Smith) is a cricket-loving Jewish boy in ’60s south London. Trouble is, he’s crap at cricket. When a Jamaican family, their dad being Delroy Lindo, move in next door, there’s snidey racism from other neighbours. But Delroy builds a cricket net in his back garden, and teaches David to be the next WG Grace. His mum, Emily Woof, swoons for super-Del’s charms; even his dad comes round. Other locals, slow to realise this is a revisionist feelgood flick, set fire to the Jamaicans’ house, but everyone’s seen the light and discovered the joys of calypso and swing by the rose-tinted ending. It’ll bowl audiences over, thanks to its spin.


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