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Awfully Big Adventure [DVD] [1995] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

Price: £34.51
Only 1 left in stock.
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£34.51 Only 1 left in stock. Dispatched from and sold by passionFlix UK.

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Product details

  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: New Line Home Video
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007P0XA0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 135,141 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It could perhaps be suggested that the only reason this film was known as a cinematic flop was due to it being marketed as a `comedy'. For whilst director Mike Newell's follow-up to Four Weddings and a Funeral offers many subtle stabs at typically British `black humour', it is too much of a somber affair to raise more than the occasional amused chuckle. However, as an adaptation (by Charles Wood) of Beryl Bainbridge's novel about theatrical backstage life in post-war Liverpool; with all of the period's dusty oppressiveness and moral hypocrisies gloriously exposed, it is an engaging portrayal and works well.

Without doubt though, it is a film that needs to be viewed more than once. (Although many would, I suspect, struggle to remain watching for even a first, given its often dour feel and slightly confusing initial story-line; often further encumbered by some heavy Liverpudlian accents.)

Yet Newell's sharp dramatic focus draws the best from an exceptional cast, with worthy and often inspired performances. Not least among these is that of Hugh Grant, effectively cast against type, as Meredith Potter, the company's cruel, manipulative and promiscuous gay director. Newcomer Georgina Cates gives a luminous performance as the star-struck (and desperately naive) teenage trainee stagehand Stella Bradshaw. Her misguided infatuation of Potter unwittingly vies her desire to gain sexual experience against the always enigmatic and scene-stealing Alan Rickman, as suave, haunted leading man, P.L O'Hara. First entering the foray on the back of an impressive Norton motorbike, Rickman seems to provide a much needed hero, and manages to add the weighty ingredients of intrigue and mystery to the script's whole quirky mix.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
When you read the blurb on this film, it will tell you that it's a "revealing comedy" about what goes on in a theatre and the lives of the people who work there. Revealing? Check. Comedy? No. Not in any conceivable way.

Without spoiling the plot, I can only say that though there are witty comments and moments through the film, it is not a comedy and should rather be described as a drama. To be frank, I just about cried my way through it. Some of the actors are amazing (especially Alan Rickman, who, in my opinion, makes this film worth seeing all on his own), and it is a good film, so long as you are prepared for it. I wasn't, and it actually made me feel somewhat depressed for hours after finishing it.

Comedy, they say. Lies, all lies! But worth watching nonetheless.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8cacc504) out of 5 stars 40 reviews
149 of 153 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8cad1e58) out of 5 stars A Lovely, Sad Movie... woefully misleading adverts 26 April 2005
By dooby - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is an excellent film, moving, sad, even tragic. It is NOT a "warm hearted comedy," as it says on the back of the DVD. And it certainly is not "hilarious". The blurb on the cover is quite possibly the most misleading I have ever come across. Despite that, it is a lovely film. It is a solid, serious British drama, with an excellent all round cast. The humour where present is decidedly low key. Its predominant mood is one of sadness and loss, there is warmth to be sure, but certainly not what is projected on the cover or in the trailer. One wonders why the publicists chose to so misrepresent such a fine film. Was it because they were worried its serious and even dark nature would put off the popcorn munchers? Perhaps it would have been better if they had. Then we wouldn't have been saddled with so many negative reviews from viewers who naturally felt short-changed. Then again, this is not a movie that American audiences would readily take to.

Set in 1947, it tells the story of a 16 year old girl, Stella (Georgina Cates), abandoned at birth by a wayward mother and brought up by her aunt and uncle, who aspires to join the Theatre. Into this milieu she willingly plunges herself. She encounters sordid seedy characters. She takes on menial tasks without pay. She embraces all with a gushing eager naivete. She falls for the stage director (Hugh Grant) who in her young innocence she doesn't realise actually has a preference for boys. She then latches on to an aging Lothario (Alan Rickman) who does appreciate young girls. In this darkness in which she finds herself, past and present intersect. The absent mother she faithfully places a call to everyday, the same mother who gave her away years ago, becomes the silent confidant of her hopes and fears. The aging Rickman character constantly pines for his own past even as he happily deflowers the young girl. The stage director's sordid history of seducing and then spurning young men finally comes to a head. All combine to create an air of loss and decay. A nice touch was the use of a lone flute playing "The Last Rose Of Summer" whenever the Rickman character thinks back to his lost love. If you know the song, it perfectly encapsulates the mood of this movie. And yes there is a twist at the end, but if you have been paying attention, it won't come as too much of a shock. Although the prudes and the self-righteous will as usual recoil in moral outrage.

New Line Entertainment has given us a fine if bare-bones DVD. The film is transferred in it's original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1 (enhanced for widescreen TV). Picure quality is good, clean and clear with natural warm colors. Black levels are just right. Audio includes the original stereo plus both DTS and Dolby 5.1 remixes. Excellent presentation. There are even optional English subtitles for people who can't get round the British accents. Thank goodness not everybody makes sanitized, Hollywood dross.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8cc2bc78) out of 5 stars A viewing adventure of discovery. 11 Jun. 2005
By NYriversider - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
I'd have to concur with many of the reviewers here in their thoughts of this film. I started with certain expectations because of the film adverts. As often happens when a film already has a form in your mind, I had trouble with the lack of synergy between what was described and what I viewed. Had no one said anything but this is a foreign film full of quircky characters and a non-formulaic plot, I'd have enjoyed the first viewing much more. The actors are completely brilliant and if you accept their characters with all their quircky and often sad flaws, this film is more of a tragedy with a cast of eccentric (and often very funny) characters. After setting aside and coming back to it, I found I really enoyed this movie. And it's true, each viewing seems to show another layer or has me focus on another character. Rickman's performance is stellar...no pun intended. :-) And incredible that a woman the age of (rumor has it) at least 30+ if not 40's) was able to carry off the role of the very affecting Stella.

I love Hugh Grant's character who appears to be the 'bad guy' but finally you're left wondering if he didn't just speed along the inevitable. He's still a bit of a conundrum, because he's surely written to be unlikable but is that a challenge to the moviegoer to see past the veneer, or is the veneer all their is...hmm... Oy I'm getting dizzy. :-)

I really think this rates high in the quicky foreign film category and perhaps not quite an Ameilie but certainly had it been marketed more in that vein the right audience and movie would have found each other!

I'd only recommend this movie to those that like the unusual films that are to the left of the main shelves kind of buried in the back row and you love making that great gem of a find that you feel like no one knows about! :-) Hope this helped a bit with making a decision about buying it. It's available in VHS formate for a bit less, especially used, if you're having trouble with the commitment to the DVD price. Happy viewing!
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
By C. Kilbourne - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Alan Rickman and Hugh Grant are spectacular in this film. It's a dark, tragic comedy for those of us with a dry sense of humor. Many reviewers, I've noticed don't think this film funny at all, but there are amusing bits if you enjoy dark humor. This film, taking place in the 1940's, deals with the inner-workings, the darker side if you will, of the theater buisness. Stella (Georgina Cates) is a naive young girl trying to make her way in the buisness. She quickly falls in love with Meredith Potter (Hugh Grant)and begins her journey in the industry. This film deals with love, sex, death, alcoholism and much more. Any fan of Alan Rickman will certainly enjoy his superb acting in the film, same goes for Hugh Grant fans. This is an excellent addition to your dvd library.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8e85c990) out of 5 stars Subtitles are your friends! 26 Aug. 2007
By C. DeNicolo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
During the first viewing of this film I was only concentrating on two things. When, oh when, is my dear Alan Rickman going to come on screen, and what the HECK is the main character "Stella" saying?!? When AR finally makes his debute we are about 50 minutes into the film and he is the tall, cool drink of water we have been desperate for. Watching it without the subtitles, you get a general idea of what's happening-but unfortunately you miss several great lines and key points, that at the time they are said mean nothing-but will no doubt come back to you in the last ten minutes of the film. Over all I do believe it is a good film. And I have watched it several times, since the first viewing (all with the subtitles on!)

If you like surprises and don't mind "dark and twisty" reveals, at the end of a story-then do not read other reviews. Since AR is very good at the dark and twisty, I have learned to adapt and take nothing for granted. I went into this film knowing what the "reveal" would be at the end. And to behonest, you are so swept up in the story, that when it is revealed, you can feel nothing but sorrow-as opposed to the "ick" factor. If you are a fan of Alan Rickman's-this is a definite for your library. Hugh Grant also stars in this film. Though if dark and twisty disturbs you from the likes of Hugh Grant-this will leave you less infatuated with him.

Also, if you are familiar with the tale Peter Pan, this film wil help to define some concepts left unexplained. I have just recently read Peter Pan and can now appreciate where the title of this film comes from.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8cbe7870) out of 5 stars Sexy Alan 29 Aug. 2011
By Tracey Ninivaggi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The movie was interesting...the first movie I've seen where Hugh Grant is a complete and utter A**!! Alan Rickman...which is WHY I got the movie comes in about half hr into it, but is gripping in the bits he's in...He doesn't speak for the first 5 min he's on screen, but his facial expressions tell you everything you need to know!
You must have some knowledge of the "British" language and their eccentricities to keep up...
Basically...if you adore Alan it is a must see!
Seeing him on a motorcycle did it for me...& the "lovemaking" scenes were sexy & funny at the same time!
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