BFI #LFF 2015: WHO KILLED NELSON NUTMEG? Review

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WHO KILLED NELSON NUTMEG? is a funny, enjoyable family film with an intriguing twist

In a summer short of live action family movies, Tim Clague and Danny Stack come to the rescue with WHO KILLED NELSON NUTMEG?, a new family adventure film which makes its world premiere at the BFI London Film Festival on 10 October as part of the Family strand.

WHO KILLED NELSON NUTMEG? tells the story of four misfit kids who while on their annual summer holiday to Nelson’s Retreat, suspect that the holiday park’s mascot has been murdered.

Billie (Loretta Walsh), The Colonel (Hattie Gotobed), Woody (James Grogan) and Shiv (J.J. Brown) all feel they’re a little ‘old’ for the camp activities at Nelson’s Retreat, a seaside holiday park situated on Dorset’s Jurassic coast. Their only highlight is the camp’s mascot, the hyperactive and unpredictable squirrel called Nelson Nutmeg.

When Billie sees Nelson involved in a scuffle on a cliff top, she fears that he may have been pushed and encourages her friends to help her investigate. They immediately suspect the camp’s new caretaker manager Diane (Bonnie Wright) especially when a new Nelson Nutmeg arrives for duty. However, the kids get quickly in over their heads and they realise they’re going to have to use all their childlike savvy if they’re going to solve this crime.

Written and directed by BAFTA-nominated writer and award-winning director Tim Clague and CBBC and CiTV writer Danny Stack, WHO KILLED NELSON NUTMEG? is a funny, enjoyable family film with an intriguing twist. Clague and Stack certainly have a flair for children’s storytelling, with their witty and fast-paced script providing plenty of laughs for both adults and children. The 80 minute feature film boasts enough action to keep the family entertained with its shady characters, mysterious happenings and plot twists and turns keeping you guessing until the very end.

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Fans of ITV’s BROADCHURCH will recongise Freshwater Beach in Bridport, Dorset as the location for Nelson’s Retreat. The film was part funded by a Kickstarter campaign and features children at the heart of its production, many of whom are from the local Dorset area.

Loretta Walsh, Hattie Gotobed, James Grogan and J.J. Brown are superb as the four misfit kids who stumble across a devious plot to destroy the family holiday park. The vast majority of scenes rest on their young shoulders but the cast, particularly Loretta Walsh as Billie, carry it off effortlessly with an enthusiasm and professionalism beyond their years.

The children are joined by a small but talented supporting cast. The shady Mr Slug played by Russell Biles pulls off creepy yet hilarious performance, with Mark Vernon Freestone impressing as Uncle Derek. Jamie Lee-Hill is also hilarious as the new Nelson Nutmeg even if he only appears on screen for a few seconds. But the true star is Bonnie Wright, who many will recongise as Ginny Weasley from the Harry Potter series, as Diane, the villainous caretaker manager who has a few secrets of her own.

The film boasts an intriguing twist at the end that adds a new depth to the story. All in all, WHO KILLED NELSON NUTMEG? is an enjoyable, contemporary live-action comedy that is sure to entertain the whole family.

4 Stars (4 / 5)

WHO KILLED NELSON NUTMEG? makes its world premiere at the 59th BFI London Film Festival on 10 October 2015.

About Donna

Donna is the Editor of Frankly, My Dear UK. By day, she is a digital marketing whizz, by night she reviews film, theatre and music for a wide range of publications including WhatsonStage, The Public Reviews and ScreenRelish. Loves Shakespeare, prosecco and Formula 1