"A simple story that has been spiced up in a new recipe."
Felicia’s Journey is the kind of film that invites you to settle down and enjoy it for all the wrong reasons. It appears to be one thing and takes you on a different route altogether. With a few turns, you’ll be wondering how you ever got there.The story is the journey of Felicia (Elaine Cassidy) a young Irish girl who has left her home to search for her lover in England. Crossing the Irish Sea, Felicia sets out knowing only that he has gone to work as a labourer in a lawnmower factory. Along her way, she comes across middle aged Joseph Ambrose Hilditch (Bob Hoskins). This round-faced curious man is a catering supervisor in a factory, with a passion for food. We are invited several times into his home to observe his eccentricity as he watches a videotape of a 1950’s television-cooking program as he prepares his meal.
Intertwining portraits of the characters lives, there is a contrast of the two environments. The story delicately moves back and forth Felicia’s life in Ireland to the industrial England. This at times annoying shift from present to past and back again, pieces the story together. We learn that Ambrose Hilditch is not the cuddly old man he appeared to be. He drives around in his Green Morris Minor picking seemingly lost girls on their journey.
Just when you think Felicia is close in finding her lover, Hilditch steps in to make things a little interesting and set you on another journey altogether. Elaine Cassidy beautifully identifies the lost traveler with a suffocating sense of innocence that invites trouble. The story works because it’s plausible. The characters are real, and Cassidy delivers a very believable young innocent girl with an Irish charm.At times frustrating, William Trevor’s story manages to keep you in your seat. If you start to yawn, bare with it - this is a simple story that has been spiced up in a new recipe with a dash of mystery and deceit. You’ll be compelled by Felicia’s innocence, moved by the Irish soundtrack and laugh at the somewhat disturbed efforts of Hilditch. (Irene Gabra--filmnet.org.au)