Out this October is a reboot of beloved classic The Secret Garden. Frances Hodgson Burnett’s 1911 novel has seen many an adaptation, for the stage as well as for the screen, most memorably 27 years ago at the hands of the masterful Agnieszka Holland.
But now, the tale has been revived for a new generation with a fresh take on the material, this time focussed more keenly through the eyes of our troubled young protagonist Mary Lennox, exploring more of her backstory and the world as seen through her powerful imagination.
As such, the English country estate, Misselthwaite Manor, that becomes Mary’s new home after being orphaned in India, takes on a Guillermo del Toro-esque fantastical, haunting quality and the titular garden is imbued with a vivid, dynamic life of its own. We dig deeper into the fable’s darker undercurrents and the forces that have shaped each of characters, in particular the impact of loss and grief that contextualises their actions, and discover the restorative power of nature.
Screen veterans Colin Firth and Julie Walters as Lord Archibald Craven and Mrs Medlock are brought in alongside new face Dixie Egerickx as the troubled Mary plus Isis Davis as Martha, Amir Wilson as her brother Dickon and Edan Hayhurst as the sickly Colin, all of whom share a fantastic onscreen chemistry.
A feast for the senses, the visually spectacular film both keeps the original story alive for a new generation and delivers a modern interpretation in term of themes and representation in its diverse casting.
We had the pleasure of speaking to young Dixie Egerickx about taking on the daunting lead role, how she saw the somewhat unlikeable character and the fun she had making the movie.
Isis Davis then told us about being the first black actress to play Martha, how the story appeals to both adults and kids and the themes she hopes people will take away from the feature.
By Sarah Bradbury. First published on The Upcoming on 28th October 2020.
The Secret Garden is released nationwide and on Sky Cinema from 23rd October 2020.
Watch the trailer for The Secret Garden here: