The Secret Of Moonacre
is a charming adaptation of Elizabeth Goudge’s novel The Little White Horse
. Starring The Golden Compass’
Dakota Blue Richards, she plays young teenage orphan Maria Merryweather, who inherits a single book from her father.
That book, however, is the catalyst to what happens next in The Secret Of Moonacre, as the story bursts to life, throwing Maria into the middle of a feud between two families, the Merryweathers and the De Noirs. As she eventually makes her way through the book, Maria understands what she needs to do, and realises that the fate of Moonacre Valley could well be in her hands.
Co-starring Tim Curry, Ioan Gruffudd, Natascha McElhone and Juliet Stevenson, The Secret Of Moonacre does take a little time to warm up, with a tepid first act not the best of beginnings. But then the the steady hand of director Gabor Csupo--previously responsible for the underrated Bridge To Terabithia--kicks in, and things soon pick up. Csupo’s movie boasts striking visuals and genuinely impressive production values, and while it doesn’t quite match his earlier film, it still emerges as solid family entertainment that’s been well realised. What’s more, Dakota Blue Richards does her credentials no harm at all either, turning in another impressive performance that eases the film through its weaker moments. Recommended. –-Jon Foster
Based on the classic children's novel, "The Little White Horse".
The story follows the exploits of thirteen-year-old orphan Maria Merryweather (Dakota Blue Richards), whose sole inheritance from her father is a book. This is no ordinary tome, however in Maria's hands, its ancient story comes alive. The book chronicles an age-old rivalry between the Merryweather and De Noir families over a set of magical pearls, and as Maria delves into the mysterious tale, she finds herself fantastically entangled in the bitter feud.Left penniless by her father's death, Maria has no choice but to leave the city and live with her taciturn uncle, Sir Benjamin Merryweather, at his isolated country estate in Moonacre Valley. On her way to her new home with her caretaker Miss Heliotrope, Maria's carriage is attacked by Robin, the De Noir family's teenaged son. Although she is unharmed, the incident gives Maria a frightening taste of the animosity between the two clans. Having spent the night at her tower, Maria has been surrounded by magic, the stars on the ceiling of her room falls, one by one. She also noticed that the house seemed falling apart. She qestions her uncle, but she was reprimanded not to enter the forest.When Maria arrives at the Merryweather property, her uncle spies the unusual book in her possession, and immediately confiscates it. With the help of the estate's resourceful chef, however, Maria relocates the book and continues reading, finally discovering the weight of her responsibility: she has been anointed the last Moon Princess of the valley. It is up to her to find the magic pearls before the next full moon and end the conflict between the two families.
- Ioan Gruffudd, Dakota Blue Richards, Tim Curry, Natascha McElhone, Juliet Stevenson & Augustus Prew
- Director Gabor C