Wondrous Oblivion

Critics Consensus

This coming-of-age/cricket tale wants to be touching, but is too often sappy.



Total Count: 41


Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,482
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Movie Info

Eleven year old David Wiseman loves to play cricket but is no good at it. When a Jamaican family move in next door and builds a cricket net in the back garden, David is in seventh heaven. But this is 1960s England, and when the neighbors start to make life difficult for the new arrivals, David's Jewish family is caught in the middle, and he has to choose between fitting in and standing up for the new friends who have turned his world upside down.


Sam Smith
as David Wiseman
Delroy Lindo
as Dennis Samuels
Dominic Barklem
as Pritchard
Angela Wynter
as Grace Samuels
Leonie Elliott
as Judy Samuels
Naomi Simpson
as Dorothy Samuels
Richard Ashton
as W.G. Grace
Carol MacReady
as Mrs. Wilson
Gary McDonald
as Garry Sobers
Osnat Schmool
as Mrs. Glickstein
Mark Penfold
as Head Teacher
Tom Roberts
as James Bryce
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Critic Reviews for Wondrous Oblivion

All Critics (41) | Top Critics (18) | Fresh (27) | Rotten (14)

  • This competitive atmosphere of unease moves the film along, but it is full of forebodings that it does not follow through. Something for socially alert, gentle 12-year olds.

    Dec 14, 2017 | Full Review…
  • Wondrous Oblivion is a timeless tale of an 11-year-old South London boy putting aside boyish things. Writer-director Paul Morrison affirms PG-rated life lessons that could appeal to 11-year-olds and their elders alike.

    Jan 12, 2007 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • For all its bright-hued nostalgia (the cricket greens are practically incandescent), Wondrous Oblivion edges up to hard truths, most powerfully expressed in Lindo's towering performance.

    Dec 30, 2006 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…
  • You don't have to know anything about the sport of cricket to be charmed by Wondrous Oblivion, a British film that is finally getting a well-deserved theatrical release after opening the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival in 2004.

    Dec 22, 2006 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • It's a delight to see Delroy Lindo -- perpetually cast as tough cops and tougher crooks -- playing a tender father and decent (if struggling) husband.

    Nov 6, 2006 | Rating: 2.5/4
  • The film feels like the Cliffs Notes version of what might have been a much longer and certainly more satisfying story.

    Nov 3, 2006 | Rating: 2.5/4

    John Anderson

    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Wondrous Oblivion

  • Jul 17, 2010
    The term "Coming of Age" has become somewhat of a cliché, but director Paul Morrison has given audiences such a well-crafted, beautifully-rendered tale, that an obligatory inclusion by this reviewer of the term will be quite forgiven here. Think: Air Raid Araby. It tends to be heavy-handed at times, but the spot-on performances carry the weight splendidly. In this PG-13-rated drama Wondrous Oblivion, a young Jewish boy (Sam Smith III) learns to tackle adversity in post-war 1940s England after his Jamaican neighbors teach him the game of cricket. A cross between Barry Levinson's American fable Avalon and the British hit Billy Elliot, Wondrous Oblivion wears its well-worn adversity theme like a badge...but, because the scenario is wholly original, not to point of being over-bearing. Rather, this import plays out breezily, stumbling only slightly when the story veers off into an unnecessary sub-plot featuring the boy's mother (Woof) and mentor neighbor (Lindo). Should they remain oblivious to this rub, however, moviegoers will enjoy two hours of near-wonderment. Bottom line: Wondrously told.
    Jeff B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 25, 2008
    I don't understand much about Cricket but this was a good movie about friendship.
    Ida K Super Reviewer
  • Nov 14, 2007
    [font=Century Gothic]"Wondrous Oblivion" takes place in South London in 1960 where David Wiseman(Sam Smith) is the child of Jewish refugees(Emily Woof & Stanley Townsend). He attends a private school where despite his love for the sport of cricket, he cannot play a lick. One day, the Wisemans get new neighbors from Jamaica. The father(Delroy Lindo) builds a cricket pitch in his backyard to coach his daughter, Judy(Leonie Elliott), in the sport. And soon he is also coaching David, too...[/font] [font=Century Gothic]"Wondrous Oblivion" is an amiable bit of anti-nostalgia that is well-meaning to the hilt. It deftly avoids the sugarcoating that usually occurs with coming-of-age movies, in order to explore the racism and prejudice of the day, while also promoting the broadening of one's horizons. The movie is about how a society improves and diversifies itself by embracing the children of immigrants by way of the dominant culture. In the movie, this is embodied in cricket(And there is a creative use for a cricket ball in the movie.) where playing and having fun are important, not winning. [/font]
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • May 09, 2007
    A simple, yet wonderful drama.
    Kevin M Super Reviewer

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