MAGIC BEYOND WORDS – THE JK ROWLING STORY

1.5 out of 10

Release date: 18th July 2011 (DVD premiere)

UK/Canada co-production

Director: Paul A Kaufman

Cast: Poppy Montgomery, Emily Holmes, Antonio Cupo, Janet Kidder, Andy Maton, Paul McGilling, Marie West, Lisa Norton

Writer: Jeffrey Berman & Tony Caballero

Trailer: MAGIC BEYOND WORDS

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I do understand the obvious fact that this film wasn’t made with me in mind. It’s still no excuse for palming fans of JK Rowling off with this slapdash, Hallmark Channel, biopic of the world’s most famous children’s author. I’ve never read a Harry Potter book, but I’ve seen the lamentable films, and on that evidence I have to say I could live without JK Rowling’s contributions to the world. However, I did find her life story, about her rise to fame and her dedication to becoming an author a true inspiration. It’s a real-life fairy tale for anybody that has a bit of talent and can work hard enough to win a shot at fame. This film fails to convey much of the struggle or the enormity of her achievement. Magic Beyond Words is in fact a bog standard, ‘births, marriages and death’ sprint through the highlights. You’d probably get more of an insight from reading the short JK biog at the back of her novels than watching this.

Poppy Montgomery (WITHOUT A TRACE) certainly looks the part, as JK Rowling, and battles valiantly with a lazy script. There’s not a single scrap of meat on the plot bone, as it ferries her version of JK from one scenario to another. One single scene, showing JK’s childhood games dressed as a witch some woods portrays her as a fun loving and imaginative child. It’s down hill from there. Her first marriage to a Portuguese gent, Georges (ANTONIO CUPO – AMERICAN MARY) whose story arc goes from handsome dreamboat hunk to abusive dick in less than 5 minutes. There’s no room for development of any of the characters anywhere. During the Edinburgh phase, we’re treated to a very light version of I, Daniel Blake, where JK struggles to make sense of the labyrinth British benefits system. Luckily, she found time to write her books. This is depicted in a few short scenes with a knackered typewriter and a stack of notebooks – total running time equals  exactly 20 seconds in the film – cue montages of flurrying fingers over a keyboard and empty coffee cups. Zzzzz, wake me when the cliches die.

Magic Beyond Words is an unofficial biopic. It’s existence has been ignored by the author herself and for good reason, it’s total shit.

1.5 out of 10 – Utterly lazy rush job adaptation made for undemanding children and idiots. Hardly the inspiring account of an genuinely interesting life most viewers would hope for. Tragic beyond turds. (ed. what are you, a six year old?)

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Poppy Montgomery: Unforgettable (TV), Without a Trace (TV)
  • Emily Holmes: The Shack, The Man In The High Castle (TV), Diary of a Wimpy Kid 3, Nightwatching, Snakes on a Plane
  • Antonio Cupo: American Mary
  • Janet Kidder: Arrow (TV), Ginger Snaps 2,  Bride of Chucky
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