I love an epic superhero showdown as much as the next girl, but in this age of bigger is better, sometimes I yearn for something simple at the cinemas. I love movies where you feel like you are a fly on the wall of actual human beings who’s only super power is living awesome lives. Such is the experience you can have with the recent UK export Ethel & Ernest. This is a completely lovely slice-of-life story that will warm your heart and give you hope for the new year to come.
Ethel & Ernest is based on a graphic novel by Raymond Briggs, and it chronicles the marriage and lives of his parents, Ethel and Ernest. It starts with their courtship and marriage in 1928. Ernest is a milk man who is smitten with a housemaid Ethel. People think they are crazy, but they get married and start a life together!
Then we see them have their son Raymond and experience the challenges of World War II. It is all simple, ordinary stuff, but that’s where the beauty of the story is. Jim Broadbent and Brenda Blethyn are perfect to play the title roles. I can’t imagine any other voices as these characters!
This simplicity is heightened by the lovely watercolor animation. In the world of CG bombastic animation, it was refreshing to see animation that looks more like a storybook illustration. It reminded me of Ernest and Celestine in a way.
The music is also wonderful, featuring a new song from Paul McCartney! You can’t go wrong with that!
It seems like many are discouraged about 2016 and the year to come. If you are feeling this way, a movie like Ethel & Ernest seems like just the thing to inject some hope into your heart. It certainly had that effect on me. It was heart warming and adorable to see a couple overcome the stresses of life with their love persisting through it all. This is the hope of most men and women I know—a hope to find a love that will last no matter what.
Here is the trailer for Ethel & Ernest if you want to learn more.
Rachel is a rottentomatoes approved film critic that has loved animation since she was a little girl belting out songs from 'The Little Mermaid'. She reviews as many films as she can each year and loves interviewing actors, directors, and anyone with an interesting story to tell. Rachel is the founder of the popular Hallmarkies Podcast, and the Rachel's Reviews podcast/youtube channel, which covers all things animated including a monthly Talking Disney and Obscure Animation show.