Molly Moon and the Incredible Book of Hypnotism (PG) | Close-Up Film Review


Dir. Christopher N. Rowley, UK, 2015. 98 mins.

Cast: Raffey Cassidy, Emily Watson, Dominic Monaghan, Anne-Marie Duff, Joan Collins, Lesley Manville, Celia Imrie, Jaden Carnelly Morris

It makes a welcome change from all the animated movies to have a live action family film. Well-acted by almost all, the cast has a British cast and is set in London and the south east of England. It is easy viewing and will suit the whole family with children from the age of about 9.

The narrator and chief character is Molly Moon (Raffey Cassidy), a young orphan. We see her in an unhappy situation in an orphanage run by the domineering Agnes Adderstone (Lesley Manville). Molly gets on well enough with almost all the children in the orphanage. Her particular friend is ‘Rocky’ (Jaden Carnelly Morris). The head of the orphanage is a nasty woman, presiding over a cowering staff who serve the children ghastly food as ordered by Miss Adderstone.

Anne-Marie Duff plays a kindly librarian who leaves a very special book for Molly to find at the local library where she works and Molly visits. The book is all about how to hypnotise and Molly quickly learns how to use it and makes her eyes gain control over other people.

Molly manages to become the star of a TV show but realises that she hasn’t the talent to deserve her fame. Someone else is also keen to get his hands on the special book. Dominic Monaghan plays Nockman, a petty criminal, who, egged on by his evil master criminal mother (Joan Collins), wants to steal the book in order to rob a bank.

Some of the actors are rather over exaggerated but there are good performances from all the youngsters. Emily Watson – the kindly helper at the orphanage – and Joan Collins are particularly good. The film is based on the novel by Gillian Flynn, who wrote Gone Girl. Director Christopher N. Rowley has caught the mood of this book for teenagers and it should prove to be a pleasant holiday film to particularly enjoy in the pre-Christmas or immediately after period.

Review by Carlie Newman