Anyhow, Vincent has a plan to sell his five prize piglets to Farmer Macreadie (Bill Bailey) to pay for the tractor to make the harvest and save the farm. Phil has other plans and will even go so far as to fake Mr. Green’s death in the war to convince Isabel to sell the farm, but Vincent feels it in his bones (which seems to be his only line of dialogue for the last half hour) that his father is still alive and needs Cyril and McPhee’s flying buggy to visit Lord Gray at the War Office in London to find out if his father is really dead and save the day.
If you’re wondering what Maggie Smith is doing in this production, well, it’s to knowingly sit on a cow patty because it just looks so comfortable. Ralph Fiennes seems to be in the film to wear a look of disgust when a child hugs him, but it’s probably because he just watched the dailies for the rest of the film. And Ewan McGregor? Why, he’s the new British Christopher Walken apparently. It seems as if someone called him and said, “Hey, we’re shooting a movie out in the country. Want to get paid to make out with Batman’s dead girlfriend and watch Maggie Smith disgrace herself?”
If you’re looking for a movie that basks in the glory of having a set dressed with “poo as far as the eye can see” (as Cyril points out upon arrival) then look no further. As much as the awful direction and hammering of messages goes, it all really goes back to the script. While Thompson and Gyllenhaal may have made friends while filming Stranger Than Fiction and Smith and Fiennes must be an acquaintance thanks to that one boy wizard series, there’s no reason for anyone to have become involved with this dreck, most of all McGregor, who is in it for less reason than anyone else as he was blessed with maybe one line of dialogue. I suppose seeing how he shows up after all is said and done, he’s the one who’s getting off easy.
Photo courtesy Universal Pictures