Starring: Kelly Macdonald, Andrew Scott, Rafe Spall, Jessica Haynes
Director: Philippa Lowthorpe
If you are looking for a family adventure to enjoy on the big screen this weekend, then the new adaptation of Swallows and Amazons could well be the film that you are looking for.
The movie is based on the much-loved novel of the same name by Arthur Ransome and sees Philippa Lowthorpe - who is best known for her television work - make her feature film directorial debut.
Swallows And Amazons follows four children dreaming of escape from the tedium of a summer holiday in the Lake District with their mother. When finally given permission to camp on their own on a remote island in the middle of a vast lake, they are overjoyed. But when they get there they discover they may not be alone... As a desperate battle for ownership of the island ensues, the real dangers of an adult world on the brink of war encroach on their paradise in the form of a mysterious pair of Russian spies hot on the tail of the enigmatic Jim Turner.
As the sleepy British summer is turned on its head, the children must learn skills of survival, responsibility, and the all-important value of friendship. Steeped in the wonder of a child's imagination and set against the breath-taking backdrop of the Lakes, this is an exhilarating adaptation of a treasured classic.
Ransome's enduring books series has been wonderfully realised on the big screen and this is a film that is packed with tons of charm and heart.
This is a true family adventure and it is sad that we don't see more of these kinds of films made for the big screen. Swallows and Amazons is a movie that is driven by a great story and interested characters and doesn't rely on CGI and special effects that so many movies are driven by.
Swallows and Amazons is a movie about the innocence of children and the adventures and scrapes that they get into when they explore the outside world - something many of us can relate to.
Kelly Macdonald, Andrew Scott, and Rafe Spall are the biggest names on the cast list and, while they are not hugely challenged, they all deliver great performances. However, it is the children who really steal the limelight with Dane Hughes and Orla Hill - who take on the roles of John and Susan Walker - two talents to keep an eye on over the next couple of years.
Philippa Lowthorpe has also captured the Lake District beautifully and the setting becomes a character in its own right. It really is one of the most stunning looking movies that we have seen all summer.
It is hard to believe that this is the feature film debut for Lowthorpe because she has delivered an assured and compelling movie that captures the adventure and the charm of the book series.
Of course, there are some tweaks to make this story relevant to modern day audiences, but Lowthorpe has really captured a more innocent time when children could be truly wild and free.
Swallows and Amazons is an exciting adventure and a story that you cannot help but be swept along with.
Swallows and Amazons is out now.