DVD REVIEW: WONDROUS OBLIVION
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By Kam Williams
DVD about Jamaicans Integrating Lily-White London Enclave Released
Victor Wiseman (Stanley Townsend), a Holocaust survivor, is a workaholic who spends long hours at his drapery store downtown, leaving his younger, attractive wife (Emily Woof), and their 11 year-old son (Sam Smith) feeling a little neglected. Shy and retiring Ruth is longing for a little excitement in her life, while David needs help with practice to reach his dreams of becoming a cricket star. When the Samuels arrive on the block, the mother and son both find in patriarch Dennis (Delroy Lindo) a person with the potential for filling their emotional voids. For, after the muscular laborer erects a cricket cage in his backyard, he immediately invites curious David over for free lessons to improve his game.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Wiseman is prone to fantasizing about her exotic and alluring, new next-door neighbor. And soon, she’s finding any excuse to interact with him while her hubby’s not around, which is most of the time. However, Dennis does have a spouse of his own and three daughters, one of whom, Judy (Leonie Elliott), is an adorable tomboy who just happens to be about David’s age. So, this flick features a couple of parallel romances, one borne of innocent puppy love, the other taboo for more than one reason.
Set in the Sixties, Wondrous Oblivion is one of those multi-layered, cross-cultural soap operas (ala Secrets and Lies, My Beautiful Launderette, A Fond Kiss and Bend It Like Beckham) which for some reason the British seem to have somehow perfected. A touching rites-of-passage tale which simultaneously sends valuable messages about friendship, fidelity, tolerance, and reaching for the stars.
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