Flirting with Fiction

As movie adaptations go, in my Father's Den wears its literary heart on its sleeve. Based on Maurice Gee's 1972 novel of the same name, the film begins with the poetic voice-over of a teenage girl, later seen lying, as if in a coffin, along a railway track: "One day in a town at the end of the world, the tide went out and never returned." But as we get to know the soon-to-disappear Celia (Emily Barclay), whose relationship with a returned war photographer (Matthew Macfadyen) the movie charts, the film's biggest surprise is how far it strays from the book....

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