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Too Much Magic

Fairytale is charming, inspiring -- and almost entirely fraudulent

These are just the issues that leap to mind; there are others -- all of them neutralized by Sturridge's insistence on the literal truth of the cousins' lies. An ambiguous position would have allowed the film to tackle one or all of them; even a steadfastly unmagical one would have left room for most.

With luck, Photographing Fairies will tackle some of these points. In the meanwhile, we have Sturridge's film -- which provokes pleasure, but little thought.

Fairytale -- A True Story.
Directed by Charles Sturridge. With Florence Hoath, Elizabeth Earl, Peter O'Toole and Harvey Keitel.

Rated PG.
99 minutes.

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