The Secret Garden review – classic kids’ tale gets lost in the undergrowth | Peter Bradshaw’s film of the week

Frances Hodgson Burnett’s story of an adventurous young girl is overwhelmed by the abundant shrubbery of a garden the size of the Amazon rainforestIn these times of trial, no one could be blamed for a comfort-food yearning, a return to the Sunday teatime world of period drama reassurance featuring blue-chip character actors and national-treasure A-listers in costumes and wigs.

This new version of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s 1911 children’s classic The Secret Garden is handsomely produced and earnestly acted, especially by its child star.

But it is a Mr Creosote menu of bland nursery food: a giant exercise in family-friendly nostalgia on which no expense has been spared or CGI pixel unused.The Secret Garden – a kind of mawkish and decaffeinated version of Wilde’s The Selfish Giant – is about Mary, a lonely little girl who has to return to the mother country from India when her parents die,

Read full article