Dean Spanley 2008

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Adapted from Lord Dunsany’s book, Dean Spanley is a wordy fable that feels like a story told by a fireplace on a winter’s night. Neither outright comedy,fantasy or horror, it’s a quaint little drama about whether it would be possible for dogs and people to be reincarnated as each other. Sam Neill is Dean Spanley, who way well have been a dog, and Jeremy Northam and Peter O’Toole are the estranged Fisk family, who visit Spanley and try to understand his bizarre story. Toa Fraser directs from a script by Alan Sharp (Don’t Look Now), and there’s a light brio about the way Fraser guides his mature cast through an ingenious set of narrative pirouettes. Dean Spanley is a minor delight, a friendly ghost story from Edwardian England that offers a wealth of minor pleasures.

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