The Secret Garden

Genre: Sci-fi and Fantasy, Drama; Starring: Kate Maberly, Heydon Prowse, Maggie Smith, Maggie Smith; Director: Agnieszka Holland; MPAA Rating: G

The Secret Garden is a darkly lavish version of the Frances Hodgson Burnett children’s story makes clear its link to gothic romance; basically, it’s Jane Eyre retooled for the sandbox set. Thankfully, director Agnieszka Holland found the perfect young actress to play Mary Lennox, the cynical orphan who brings herself and her uncle’s (John Lynch) gloomy estate into bloom when she discovers a hidden bower. With the face of a sour cherub, Kate Maberly is more fun to watch before Mary becomes a happy camper – she’s likably unlikable. Holland’s lush color scheme loses some oomph on video, but it’s hard to imagine the little loner in your house not taking this one to heart. B

Originally posted February 11 1994 — 12:00 AM EST

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