Coffee House

No kidding

Children’s films ought to be at least as much for adults as children and I do get annoyed by those film critics who think otherwise. I’m thinking, for example, of the ones who loftily complain that some of the jokes in the Shrek movies go right over children’s heads or the ones who go: "But who am I to judge? This film isn’t aimed at my age group." Oh right. So children always go to the cinema on their own do they? Or is a child’s pleasure such a pure and noble thing that it justifies any amount of parental suffering? No. I don’t think so. 

Call me old-fashioned but if my kids want me to take them to see a film that I think I’ll hate, they don’t get to go. Or the au-pair gets to take them instead. Anyway, I just wanted to put a word in for the new Disney film called Bridge To Terabithia because it seems no one else is. There’s a really shocking bit in the middle which got me as close as I’ve been to crying at the cinema since Bambi’s mother died. In fact I can’t imagine any parent failing to leave this film quite deeply traumatised. Is that a reason for going? I’m not sure, but what I would say is that if you have to go and see a kiddie film in the next fortnight and you can’t face the new Spiderman visits the Dark Side one (which is supposed to be pants), then this weird, semi- fantasy, semi-tearjerker about the pains of childhood and the redeeming powers of the imagination isn’t a half bad bet. The acting’s first rate and the plot goes in unexpected directions. As one half of a writing couple, though, I have to take issue with its depiction of the husband-and-wife writing couple. Sorry, but in real life we’re not joyous and spontaneous and boundlessly creative. We’re perpetually bitter and dejected and forever worrying about money and consequently have no time for fun.

More Spectator for less. Subscribe and receive 12 issues delivered for just £12, with full web and app access. Join us now.

  • Og

    I know Delingpole is quite sensitive about these things, so I wanted to say that I rate Jeremy Clarke above him, and Rod Liddle when he is not making a fool of himself writing about country sports. But Delingpole is right up there. Oh, and Rifkind’s piece on the Scots last week was quite superb, also the inspired idea that Prince Harry should have joined the fire brigade. So down to fourth, James, or thereabouts. Definitely top ten.

  • Anonymous

    Cried at Bambi?!

  • hogarth zombie

    Brilliant, James. Delingpole is worth the Spectator subscription alone. More please!

Can't find your Web ID? Click here