Comedy/Drama. Starring David Tennant. Rosamund Pike, Billy Connolly, Ben Miller, Emilia Jones, Bobby Smalldridge, Harriet Turnbull, Annette Crosbie, Celia Imrie. Directed by Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin. Cert 12A
About ten or so minutes into What We Did on Our Holiday, as David Tennant and Rosamund Pike’s Doug and Abi Mcleod argue and bicker while taking their three children to Scotland for Doug’s father’s 75th birthday, I began to see similarities to BBC’s wonderful Outnumbered, in which three children seem to be smarter and more mature than their parents.
Those comparisons increased as the film progressed but it wasn’t until I saw a poster for the film as I was leaving the cinema that I discovered writer/directors Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin has actually created and written that acclaimed sitcom, and this is a more than a worthy companion piece.
There’s a lovely loose feel to What We Did on Our Holiday, partly down to the fact that while the adult characters have tightly scripted dialogue the child actors were allowed a good deal of leeway. By and large this works, particularly when actors of the calibre of Tennant and Pike, not to mention Billy Connolly as Doug’s father Gordie, react in the manner you’d expect of exasperated elders when faced with the innate exuberance of youth.
Set mainly in the beautiful Highlands, the film isn’t a completely merry romp, taking in marriage breakdown and impending death among its subjects, but everyone in the cast is well on their game, not least the three children — Emilia Jones, Bobby Smalldridge and Hannah Turnbull — while David Tennant and the lovely Rosamund Pike make for a truly believable couple. A perfectly pleasant and satisfying film.
You might think a Hollywood star would be touchy when it comes to failure. Not Julianne Moore. The red-head lets out a big laugh when we discuss the rather delicate subject of the Academy Awards. Four Oscar nominations - including twice at the 2003 ceremony, where she was up for Best Actress for Far From Heaven and Best Supporting for The Hours - and how many has she won? "Zero!" she cries, rocking back on her seat.