Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Television Review

'Goodnight Mister Tom': A Predictable Tale to the End

May 29, 1999|HOWARD ROSENBERG

Just what this humdrum rendering of Michelle Magorian's novel "Goodnight Mister Tom" is doing on "Masterpiece Theatre" is anybody's guess.

The setting is World War II. John Thaw, so appealingly morose and grumbly as Inspector Morse, this time is Tom Oakley, a grouchy old gent enjoying his reclusive life in the rural village of Little Weirwold when he is forced to take in a bomb-blitzed 9-year-old Londoner who is one of many children evacuated to the countryside for their safety.

He is not at all pleased to have the lad hanging around. But beneath Tom's deceptive crustiness gleams one of those hearts of gold. A few days with little Willie Beech (Nick Robinson), and, as you expect, he's melting like butter on a griddle. Especially after learning that Willie bears the scars of an ugly secret.

The production is nice-looking, the village is quaint enough to charm any Anglophile, and Thaw and Robinson perform credibly. But the story, adapted by Brian Finch and directed by Jack Gold, is so predictable from start to finish, and its tidy conclusion so contrived, that there's no reason to watch it.

* "Goodnight Mister Tom" airs at 9 p.m. Sunday on KCET. The network has rated it TV-PG (may be unsuitable for young children).

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|