Today’s post was inspired by watching the film Crystal Fairy & the Magical Cactus last night. A film released in July of last year in the US, but only last month in the UK. It’s a really enjoyable film and significantly one of the main stars is a plant. It got Plant Curator thinking about films where plants play an important role in the plot. Below we review our top 5 all which we rate 5*. Please send in your reviews for others and we will add them to the post.
Everything about this movie is quality plus Meryl Streep stars. There are times when PC thinks it captures on screen like no other the excitement of hunting rare plants. But then it later suggests it’s a futile, ridiculous goal. They probably don’t know this is how Plant Curator spends most of its free weekends. Flower hunting, writing, sex, drugs, science, philosophy – Adaptation has it all.
A New Leaf
One of the few films where one of the stars is a professional botanist. Plant Curator does not understand why lawyers, doctors and murderers get more airtime. What could be more exciting than the activities and lives of botanists? A New Leaf does just that, giving a compelling depiction of the irresistible loveability of a committed botanist in search of a plant. It’s also a story of plant-inspired redemption.
Into the Wild
What a beautiful film. You just want to take Christopher (the star of the movie) and stroke him tenderly… unfortunately all he wanted was to be alone. But you can’t help thinking – if only he had a better plant identification skills and book with colour pictures on every page everything would have been ok. Is there any other film out there apart from Into the Wild where someone is depicted trying to identify a plant from a key? Set in the amazing Alaskan wilderness, plants feature heavily.
Out of Africa
Ok Meryl again, Plant Curator might be slightly biased. Romanticised colonialism at its very worst.. we mean best. Karen spends the whole time trying to grow coffee with her Kikuyu workforce, which is why it has made this list. Whether it be chard in your allotment or coffee on your Kenyan plantation, there is nothing worse than waiting for your first viable crop. The accompaniment of Mozart’s clarinet concertos soundtrack makes it seem even more imperialistic. But Plant Curator would go as far to say it’s impossible not to enjoy Out of Africa, just look at the Serengeti it’s full of plants.
Crystal Fairy & the Magical Cactus
Mark Kamode only gave this film 2* in his recent review for The Guardian. He has got it so wrong. This is a great film that on the surface is a simple tale about finding and locating the San Pedro cactus (Echinopsis pachanoi ) so that the male protagonist and his friends can partake in a hallucinogenic trip. But as soon as Crystal Fairy and the magical cactus actually appear it becomes so much more – it’s, funny, moving, windy and unpredictable. It once again uses a plant to affect the evolution of the characters. Plant Curator thinks this film may set in motion numerous gap years organised around finding, acquiring, cooking and consuming the San Pedro cactus. But let’s not worry about that here.