The Reviews Revisited: About Time, 2013

‘About Time’ is a time-travel classic, enveloped in Richard Curtis form. 

“The men in the family can”- and with a pause, Dad (Bill Nighy) reveals his sons time travelling gift. Curtis perfectly executes a no-frills-reveal. Necessary and uncomplicated. And thus, repetition is justified whilst Curtis attains chronological shifts with clarity and humour. A film of eloquent sentences, effortlessly charming characters with a scattering of minor flaws, of time-travelling plot points, all easily dismissed.

A seaside abode containing tea, joyful banter and loving exchanges. Patchwork quilts, a free-spirited sister and a amusingly uneventful lawyer friend called Rory, all come together to soften the raw edges of relationships, alcoholism, life and death. Cushioning the heavier tones of the film, is everything one could dream of in a Curtis film; Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) and Mary (Rachel McAdams) meet in one of London’s more conceptual restaurants, as every true Londoner does of course. Cavorting through the underground in fancy dress, dancing to buskers and both catching and missing the train like any quintessential commuter. The perils of British weather causes a string laughter, before more poignant moments pull at heartstrings.

Despite its feathery appearance, it’s a strong piece of cinema. Challenges and setbacks faithfully drive the film forward. Audience’s expectations are not always met, becoming little twists of clever, witty script avoiding the presumed. Conspicuously shot, is the Amélie (2001) poster, mirroring both films manipulations of people.

Tim’s gift is is both a powerful magic and a concept to live only, the best days possible; appearing to be the most perfect of lives. A contemporary fairytale, humanised by inevitabilities and lessons; inadvertently or somewhat pretentiously, reminding all to live each day as if the last. An idealistic world, encased in reality, decorated with British finesse.


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