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Englishman Who Went Up A Hill, But Came Down a Mountain

1 rating: 5.0
Video On Demand

A group of villagers band together to defend their town's honor.

1 review about Englishman Who Went Up A Hill, But Came...

This movie has soul

  • Aug 26, 2010
  • by
Don't be put off by the title - The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain is a funny movie with a lot of soul. It's about a Welsh town that wants their local hill to be recorded as a mountain on the official cartographers' maps. So, what do they do? Pile a bunch of dirt on it until it becomes high enough to be considered a mountain!

The story is heart-warming and light-hearted at the same time. There are humorous moments (such as various plots to delay the cartographers from leaving town), but the movie revolves around the industriousness and pride of the villagers. Exemplifying their attitude is Morgan the Goat, played beautifully by Colm Meaney. Originally an outcast, he rouses the townsfolk toward greatness. His speech defending the decision to enlarge the hill has a humorously stirring ring to it - reminiscent of Braveheart... but without the weapons. The fire-and-brimstone preacher also ends up becoming an absolutely lovable character.

Hugh Grant also gives a good performance as the assistant cartographer. I'd warn Hugh Grant though fans that he doesn't come across as suave and sexy as he does in Bridget Jones's Diary. Rather, he's a bit insecure and occasionally bumbling. It's nice to see that Grant can play those roles as well.

My only complaint with the DVD is that the sound quality is horrible. Already, it's difficult for American-English speakers to understand the thick Welsh accents. However, the dialogue is very soft throughout the movie and I had to turn my speakers up much louder than I ever had before. Then, in those one or two scenes when the sound reached normal volumes, they nearly shattered my ears because I had turned the speakers up! I hope that's something that could be fixed for a blu-ray release. It would also have helped not to have somebody with a thick Welsh accent narrate (I know the director was trying to give the movie a colloquial effect, but it was really tough to understand at points).

Overall, this is one of those movies that I'm truly glad to have discovered. Nowadays, when so much of what hits the cinemas is simply garbage, The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain reminds viewers of time when movies were supposed to tell a good story.

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"This movie has soul"
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