Helena Bonham Carter yet another plum role, which she goes at with gusto (what a versatile actress she is!). Ditto, Freddie Highmore (above and below, with dessert) and Oscar Kennedy, who play our hero, respectively, as a young man and young boy. In telling the tale of the coming-of-age of Nigel Slater, on whose memoir the film is based, director S.J. Clarkson, shown at right, gets just about everything right, leaving you on a kind of cloud nine that is leavened with a profound, alternately sad and joyful, understanding of how the world (well, sometimes) works.
Ken Stott (above) is terrific, too, turning what could be an all too typical character into something strange, funny and little sad. The whole cast is on a par, and Lee Hall's screenplay (from Slater's memoir) seems to have chosen just the right incidents, giving them all their proper weight.