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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 7 November 2004
Picture a young boy,David, from a Jewish immigrant family, who loves cricket. He dresses the part but he can't play it.
Then imagine a Jamaican family moving in next door who (you guessed it) pretty much live for cricket.
This film is an explosive mix of passion both about the sport itself but also about the blossoming of domesticated Ruth Wiseman (David's mother)
( Quote'' Nobody taught me how to be a woman'')
Wondrous Oblivion is also about the power of friendship and depicts David's rite of passage.
The film manages to successfully blend the stark elements of racism of 60's London with the growing bond, that knows no boundaries, that is established between the Wisemans and the Samuels.
For me, the intoxicating music and dance scenes had me spellbound- Rudy, A Message To You, Sugar Dandy and I Want To Be Free to name but a few of the classics featured.
The melodies bonded the film together to make it a moving masterpiece, all credit to Paul Morrison, the director.
By the way, never had I realised just how sensuous mopping a floor up could be (to know what I mean, you will have to see the film.....)
Wondrous Oblivion would suit all ages (you do not even have to remotely like cricket to love this film to bits.)
Just one last point. Why was this film never on general release in the UK? It deserves to take pride of place among the All Time Top Ten Greats.
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on 16 November 2004
I had the pleasure to watch this film at a Jewish charity showing, and it took me right back to my own childhood in the early 50s/60s in Hackney. It so accurately records our feelings at the time of misplaced "relief" that sniping black-shirt racism now had a new Black target, and yet as fellow immigrants we still had difficulty in finding common ground.
There was muffled embarrassed laughter in the cinema at the line "I hope they will leave us alone now."
Yet in the movie, as in my own life, sport and especially Cricket become the bond. There are some delightfully touching scenes and wonderful depiction of a young Garfield Sobers and Frank Worrall visiting and inspiring the local black community.
While the recreation of the detail of the period is precise, I am sure my own son who loves cricket will enjoy the film and see his own modern parallels of running off at every opportunity to play cricket with the local Asian community.
Why on earth did this film not go on general release?
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on 24 January 2005
I was totally entranced by this film. I laughed, I got teary and just a little bit humbled by it at times. Why oh why didn't this go on general release? What was the matter with the people who make these decisions? Must have been one of the best films I've seen in three years! The characters are superbly well drawn and the story deftly deals with some serious issues in a way which would capture anybody's imagination. The music was appropriate and integral to the film's overall success.
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on 17 December 2004
I saw this on a BA long haul flight; why on earth couldn't Paul Morrison find a distributor for this excellent film - he'd have won any good film festival with it. A touching sensitive film, with excellent and accurate locations and amazing acting. It portrays an era many will recall, and some may wish to forget, but in today's social climate it's as relevant as ever. It was so good I'm buying the DVD, and I don't have a DVD player!
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on 21 June 2006
I have never seen a better sporting film than Wounderous Oblivion.I have found that it touched on a whole range of emotions.We found this film looking for a good cricket themed film, as I love the game. We found the exact match. This underrated gem of a film covers an uNdercurrent of issues as previous reviewers have mentioned. As an eleven year old I was totally absorbed and I recommend this film, even going to buy it!
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VINE VOICEon 11 December 2006
Films about sport are notoriously hard to pull off .There have been successes but they are rarer than a warm pensioner and the words "Escape To Victory" always seep to the forefront of my mind for some reason . Cricket has never featured highly in cinema though I do remember a superb TV drama called and I'm not kidding here, "Ptang Yang Kipperbang" many years ago.

"Wondrous Oblivion" is a very charming, enjoyable movie that has some cricket in it but that's not really what it is about, though the cricket scenes are very well done. Set in the South London of the 1960,s the film centres on David (Sam Smith), an 11 year old Jewish boy who is obsessed with cricket but can't play for toffee, something I and Geraint Jones are all too familiar with .When a Jamaican family-the Wiseman's- move in next door this provides David's family with two opportunities .Firstly, as immigrants themselves the new lot deflect some of the racism and suspicion away from them, something they feel guilty about but are grateful for none the less. Secondly the Wiseman's father (Delroy Lindo) is a cricket fanatic too , with connections to the West Indian test team and is happy to coach the boy, even going to the lengths of erecting some nets in his back garden.

There are themes of social exclusion/inclusion , friendship , family , growing up, and the unifying power of sport running through the movie and it's all deftly handled by director Paul Morrison .The characters are never portrayed as stereotypes , the acting is first class with Smith and the hugely underrated Lindo most impressive. The scenes of him coaching David are just magical and very touching and even the potential banana skin of a budding affair between David's mother (Emily Woof, excellent too) and Wiseman is beautifully judged and quivers with empathetic frisson.

A little gem of a movie, and I like many other reviewers can only scratch my head bemusedly that it didn't gain wider release and has been universally ignored. Oblivion for this movie is far from wondrous and thoroughly undeserved and the corking ska soundtrack is the icing on it, s cake.
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on 5 October 2004
This is the first review I've written but, seeing as I enjoyed this film so much, thought I'd make the effort.
I'm not a cricket fan and fail to understand how a game can be played for five days and still end in a draw. Ordinarily the thought of a cricket film would send me running to 'silly mid off' (I think) but circumstance meant I ended up watching it and I'm so very glad that I did.
This film transports you back to the 1950's and does a magnificent job of recreating the feel and pace of life. In that way maybe cricket is a good metaphor.
This film however is about far more than cricket - it's about growing up, friendships, family and life. Cricket brings the characters together but it doesn't define them or the film.
The characters are rich, colourful and engaging and really make you believe you are growing up in those times. Delroy Lindo is particularly good as the West Indian father who moves his family into the London street where the film is set.
Speaking of the sets they're superb. Such attention to detail. I challenge you to watch this film and think you're anywhere else but post-war Britain.
The film is absorbing, the ending is uplifting and it even brought tears to my eyes. No one noticed though!
A cracking film - you don't know me but I recommend it!
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VINE VOICEon 1 May 2012
A low key story about the interaction of Jewish refugees with Carribean immigrants, set in the early sixties (slightly dodgy time lines). Assumption by neighbours that there's a new "we" when Jewish family acquire new, cricket mad neighbours. Jewish boy gets opportunity to play cricket and sort of gets accepted at school, exchanges academic skills for cricket skills and forms relationship with girl. Neighbourhood racism, fear and desire to fit in creates predictable problems. Tensions in Jewish family surface, reflecting history and present conditions. A crisis enables resolution and happy ending.

Lightly done but touching on and dealing well some real issues about the how and why of these different histories.

Not an amazing film, slightly feel good but not trivial. I enjoyed it and will probably watch it again.
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on 20 September 2004
Went to see this at the Cinema and it truly is one of the best British films ever made and that probably no one saw. It has a really good story that is touching without being sickening sweet and sugary. The story revloves around the character of David who is a hugh fan of cricket but is awful at playing it. He befriends the West Indian neighbours who teach him cricket and this causes tension within his family as well as the community. The themes of racism are thoughtfully dealt with, without relying too heavily on stereotypes. And it has a awesome ska soundtrack.
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on 16 August 2009
Nothing oblivious about this film but everything wondrous! A mixture of British and indeed West Indian nostalgia. Recommend to old and young.
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