Tortoise in Love (2012)

Tom Mitchelson, Alice Zawadzki, Tom Yates, Mike Kemp
Tom, gardener at the big house, can talk to plants but not to women. When beautiful Polish au pair Anya arrives for the summer, Tom falls for her catastrophically like the felling of one of the giant trees he cares for in the grounds.
  • 13 Jul 2012 Released:
  • N/A DVD Release:
  • N/A Box office:
  • Guy Browning Writer:
  • Guy Browning Director:
  • N/A Website:


Feel good romcom made by my village5/10
Tortooise in Love has a delightful back story about how the whole of a small Oxfordshire village came together to make the film, and many of the smaller parts are played by the villagers themselves resulting in many beautiful little cameo moments. This includes a cameo by the local MP Ed Vaisey who is now Britain's Film Minister.

The village provides a beautiful setting and the comedy element is there from the beginning. There is no sex, violence or nudity. Much of the humour is slightly suggestive or pantomime in style and is broadly based around approaches to courting which don't work out quite as planned.

The lead character is reminiscent of Hugh Grant and the film perhaps similar to Four Weddings and a Funeral or Notting Hill. The story of how it came to be made would be a film in itself. As a village resident and extra myself I admit an interest, but my kids age 10 and 11 were captivated throughout and having now seen it three times I still laugh out loud at many moments. Certainly a feel good film.
Delightful English Romance5/10
This is a gentle comedy of village life, with some good lines. A young man falls in love with a Polish visitor and struggles to find a way to make himself understood.

Unlike Calendar Girls and Brassed Off, the film doesn't manage to develop a dark side to act as a counterpoint to the courting couple, which means that it can seem a bit insubstantial.

The lead character is a dead ringer for Hugh Grant, and there are some good supporting performances from unknowns.

The soundtrack is good and the settings are very beautiful. I loved the cameo from the Red Arrows.

This the kind of film Richard Curtis would make on a low budget.
Distinctly Amateur5/10
Having heard the story about the making of the film (a community project)and the relative success I was full of anticipation and wanted to enjoy it. Sadly, while it starts well, by about ten minutes in it very much feels like a film made by two different groups of people professionals and amateurs.

The settings and locations are great and make pleasant viewing, the cinematography is lovely and the sound track fitting, however the script is truly lame and the story paper thin with no character development even attempted. As a viewer I was left with the sense that the film had been built around a few key scenes / jokes which while mildly amusing simply aren't enough to carry an hour and a half, and that therefore the script writer was either too lazy or too arrogant to care.

The two leads and the young boy all look good on screen and do a reasonable job with the terribly weak material and some clunking dialogue "your lips are a rocket and mine are the landing station" The rest of the acting is split and the experience/talent of the likes of Stephen Elder, Ivan Kaye, Lesley Staples and Mike Kemp only serves to accentuate the weaknesses of some of the other actors who display everything from just plain ineptness on screen to wild over acting, random gesticulation and weird accents.

It's a film version of an am-dram performance and like am dram performances it's really only of interest if you are in it or know someone who is.
Amusing comedy made by village.8/10
Loved this film: sweet, innocent AND charming. Plus it made me laugh out loud at least three times. The audience in the cinema chuckled throughout. Now I know that it was made entirely by a village in Oxfordshire, I think it's even better than I did at the time. The lead characters are both very engaging. Tom, the gardener is very handsome and sweet, although you don't ever quite get to know why he's so shy around Anyer. Some scenes are very eccentric in a typically English way, with men running around in drag or horse costumes. It made me want to visit the village and be part of the proper community spirit. Lots of jokes knocking bankers and the upper classes, which mostly hit the nail on the head. Overall - My husband and I agreed we both left the cinema happier than when we went in.
Delightful film about English rural life5/10
This film is delightful and humorous. It is about people and their Relationships. Even the most beautiful people do not have an easy time When they are in love.

The boy with the love of aircraft gives a splendid performance of a sad boy neglected by his father but supported by the estate workers.

This is a gentle film and beautifully photographed. It is homage to the goodness of people, the ingeniousness of the rural community and so many things good about England that "commercial" filmmakers neglect to tell us about.

It is a must for viewing by every rural film society and likely to Become a perennial favorite.