The Legend of Longwood – Film Review by Emily Elphinstone
Director: Lisa Mulcahy
Writers: Nadadja Kemper, Lisa Mulcahy
Stars: Lorcan Bonner, Brendan Conroy, Lorcan Cranitch…
After moving with her family from New York to rural Ireland, 12 year old Mickey Miller (Lucy Morton) has trouble adjusting to her new surroundings. But she soon comes to suspect that the sleepy village of Longwood is not all it seems, and with the help of the eccentric Lady Thryza Dumonceau (Miriam Margolyes), Mickey discovers that the village is plagued by the ghost of The Black Knight; a nobleman who lived 300 years before. As Mickey delves deeper into the legend of the Black Knight, she finds that she herself is an integral part of the story: the key to solving the riddle, in order to rescue the mysterious white horses that roam the area, and finally lay the ghost to rest.
With its dramatic orchestral score, and slow motion shots of ‘Silver’ and the other ponies; The Legend of Longwood is undoubtedly geared to a particular audience; specifically girls in their early teens with a penchant for all things equestrian. However, the film doesn’t pretend to be anything else; and works well within it’s genre. There are enough interesting (and satisfyingly recognisable) characters to keep the story going, and the subplot of Mickey’s nemesis Caitlyn (Fiona Glascott) and her social climbing aspirations helps to keep the fantastical story grounded in reality. Lucy Morgan is good in the central role, and the supporting cast work well despite many clunky moments in the script. Glascott is wonderfully spiky as the money grabbing wannabe baroness Caitlym, and Lorcan Cranitch is perfectly cast as her partner in crime: the small town mayor with big aspirations.
Co-produced by Ireland, Germany, and the Netherlands, and shot mostly in Wicklow; ‘The Legend of Longwood’ manages to avoid becoming overly clichéd despite the gorgeous landscape and frequency of rainfall. Overall, It is too obvious to be a great film, but for the right audience there’s enough to entertain.