Genre: Family, Comedy, Drama.
Starring: Kenton Hall, Scarlet Hall, Hero Hall, Colin Baker, Sarah Warren, Ewen MacIntosh.
Year Of Release: 2015
Certificate: PG (UK)
Runtime: 81 Minutes
Director: Kenton Hall
Synopsis: “Maisie and Daisy McCormack are two ordinary 12-year-olds finding their way through life in the 21st century. Oh, and they may have just hijacked a movie.” IMDB
A Dozen Summers is like no other film I have seen, in no way is that a bad thing at all, Kenton Hall who wrote, directed and starred in the film (what a busy man!) really captured the essence of teenage life here in Britain. The film didn’t shy away from real life issues which was a pleasant surprise in such a family based comedy, the film is as much a children’s film as it is an adults film also, there is enough to satisfy everybody even the elders dragged along by their kids to see it.
The film uses all the narratives we see in cinema be it flash forwards, voice overs, alternate takes, you get a full range of these used in aiding the imagination of the sisters. The voice over done by the wonderfully talented Doct I mean Colin Baker is used as a clever plot device to allow the girls to jump ship on the current scene to a more interesting point, which I found a very enjoyable thing to watch. The entire film just has a silly vibe about it, while sticking to real life issues we all witness be it divorce or bullying, the social issues touched on in the film are very real but done in such a way you feel them but you are also able to giggle through them.
The cast was wonderfully picked in my opinion the twin sisters who lead the film were brilliantly funny in their repartee sometimes lost on siblings in films however these two being twins obviously it really helped their little arguments about where to take their film. Director Kenton Hall also featured in the film as the twins dad Henry, who is like every modern day dad spouting his witty little dad jokes. It is always nice to see British talent being showcased and that is exactly what happens in this film for me I found it a nice break to get back to seeing young actors making their name for themselves. Plus it is always a wonderful treat to hear a true legend of the screen like Colin Baker who brings a air of Hollywood to the film, great addition to any cast.
While some will argue there is some issues with the film, I for one would say look past the minor glitches, the small budget and the fact the films story is not on a typical linear track. The film doesn’t pander to the audience explaining this and that about why the girls are able to do what they do. It’s just “accept it and enjoy” which I thought was a nice touch, from the get go you’re thrown in the deep end of the magnificent decision by the director to use all the tropes possible for the sheer enjoyment of the viewer. There is a few moments in which the acting falls off, but that happens even at all levels of film, so hardly enough to take aim at this film in particular.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed “A Dozen Summers” it was a wonderful coming of age comedy drama, reminiscent of a show I watched in my younger years called “Tracy Beaker” it will take you back to your youth and help you remember all the silly things you got up to at that age with your friends. The film is a nice feel-good comedy in the modern time of gritty realism, so if you’re feeling like a good time filled with laughs and relatable antics most definitely check this out. While the film is aimed at children I think this will be a bigger hit with the parents than the younger viewers, lots of references to older films and even a hilarious homage/parody to the chess scene from “The Seventh Seal”. A truly wonderful feature debut from director Kenton Hall I am looking forward to seeing what else he has in store in the future.