Recounted in flashback, Come Away is a fantastical coming-of-age story, which melds elements of Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland and Peter And Wendy.
Characters and imagery from Lewis Carroll’s and JM Barrie’s novels, published almost 50 years apart, soften narrative blows of bereavement, abandonment and abuse which are woven into a tonally uneven script that imagines a sibling bond between the children who inspired the books.
Totems from the literary classics are scattered liberally throughout a freewheeling plot: a chirruping pawnbroker (Clarke Peters) who is as mad as a hatter, a mother’s gift of a tiny silver bell made by a tinker, an older brother poised to leave for school telling his sister “I’ll leave my shadow behind”.
David Oyelowo and Angelina Jolie catalyse lukewarm screen chemistry as doting parents.
When their clan fractures under the weight of grief, our emotional tethers to the characters quickly come loose.
Rating: Two stars