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Two English cartographers visit the small South Wales village of Ffynnon Garw, to measure what is claimed to be the "first mountain inside of Wales". It's 1917, and the war in Europe continues. The villagers are very proud of their "mountain", and are understandably disappointed and furious to find that it is in fact a "hill". Not to be outwitted by a rule (and the Englishmen who enforce it), the villagers set out to make their hill into a mountain, but to do so they must keep the English from leaving, before the job is done.Written by
It took quite a long time to find a filming location that could pass for Taff's Well in 1910; the original location (where the true story came from), to the north of Cardiff, now has several large wind turbines and electricity pylons prominently placed, and the village is surrounded by a modern industrial estate. See more »
The Bristol Channel should be visible from the hill. Also missing is the Taff River and Castell Coch. See more »
For some odd reason, lost in the mists of time, there's an extraordinary shortage of last names in Wales. Almost everyone seems to be a Williams, a Jones, or an Evans. To avoid widespread confusion, Welsh people often add an occupation to a name. For example, there was Williams the Petroleum, and Williams the Death. There was Jones the Bottle, and Jones the Prize Cabbage... which described his hobby and his personality. Evans the Bacon, and Evans the End of the World. But one man's...
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Those two adjectives say it all. Hugh Grant is at his best as a shy WWI era officer whose task it is to measure the mountains of Wales. He plays very well against Colm Meaney, a rogue and scoundrel who finds his better nature despite himself.
This film was crippled before an American audience because of its slow pace and long title. The humor is subdued, and often buried under accents that many moviegoers must have been unfamiliar with. But I believe this film only improves with repeated viewings. The actors do a uniformly good job, and play their characters with great heart.
The soundtrack stands out as one of the best as well. It adds to the mystery and beauty of the region and adds a unique feel to the film.
Children may find it too slow and dull, but anyone with an appreciation for a good, heartwarming story will enjoy it. I recommend it in particular to those with a love for the British Isles in general, or Wales in particular.
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