Films with children as the leads made or broken by the naturalness of the actors, which is a heavy burden for their little shoulders to bear. The two boys playing the brothers in ‘I Wish’ are terrific. Their contrasting personalities and their natural style play a huge role in avoiding any hint of over-sweetness: it’s a naturally sweet film, but think honey rather than saccharine. They also embody children’s ability to feel everything very intensely and whole-heartedly, but then shrug it off the next moment and move on the the next thing. This contrast between the intense but mercurial children (my goodness, they run EVERYWHERE), and the adults who are mostly rather stuck and static is striking.
It’s a lovely, life affirming film, even if it hovers over implausibility in places.