This summer, you can read the book, watch the film, and see a live performance of The Secret Garden! The live production is currently running at the Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck (click here for details). And on Sunday, July 14th at 12:30pm, Upstate Films and Oblong Books will co-present a special screening of the 1993 film adaptation starring Maggie Smith, followed by an informal book group discussion. Click here to purchase film screening tickets in advance. Click here to purchase the book online through Oblong Books.
Following a silent film version in 1919 and a dramatic rendition in 1949, Agnieszka Holland’s The Secret Garden became the third, and to date the most definitive, adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s novel for the big screen. Both a critical and a commercial success at the time of its release, Maggie Smith received a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her role in the film, and the British Film Institute today includes it in their list of the 50 films you should see by the age of 14.
Mary Lennox (Kate Maberly) is a solemn child with wide cheeks and pensive eyes that have never learned to cry. When her parents die in an earthquake in India, she is sent to live at her English uncle’s (John Lynch) estate, where she meets an invalid cousin she never knew she had, and where she discovers an abandoned garden. With the help of a local boy, Mary sets out to restore the garden, in the process discovering it has secret powers. Like a Victorian picture book come to life, Agnieszka (Europa Europa, Washington Square) Holland’s film takes us from a prologue in India through a darkly enchanted recreation of Misselthwaite Manor on the Yorkshire moors. Instinctively capturing the novel’s gravely magical tone, her Secret Garden delivers both the story’s emotional weight and the sweetness of the garden’s blossoms.
(UK, USA / 1993 / Directed by Agnieszka Holland)
G / 1 hr 43 mins.