A wide-eyed boy in a narrow minded world. So reads one of this new British film's taglines, and it is a useful but short description of a story that takes in racism, prejudice, friendship and cricket!
What seems like a simple story at first is made all the richer for what is going on around David, who exists in a state of 'wondrous oblivion' according to his teacher. David's parents, Ruth and Victor, are Jewish immigrants living in relative peace in early 1960s south east London, but when their Jewish friends and neighbours move out and a new Caribbean family moves in, life takes an expected twist. The rest of the street wanted another Jewish family to move in, and animosity soon grows towards these black 'invaders', which David and Ruth get caught up in.
At first glance you may see the similarities to two other recent British films in Wondrous Oblivion, and yes, it does come across like 'Bend It Like Anita And Me'. But this criticism aside, Wondrous Oblivion is a wonderful ensemble piece with the always excellent Delroy Lindo in his first British film. He took the job as he loved the script and also because he grew up in Lewisham, south east London, and identified with Dennis' character and struggles.
The set pieces are impressive: David and Judy practicing cricket in Dennis' net all speeded up to music, Ruth and David dancing to dancehall reggae at Dennis' Caribbean club, and the attack on Dennis' family are all things that hook the audience and keep them interested in this charming, funny and intelligent story.