MILTON’S SECRET

2 stars

Eleven year old Milton is certainly dealing with his fair share of stress. His parents are fighting. Money is tight. The neighbour kid is bullying him. How fortuitous then that he has stumbled on mindfulness meditation as a coping strategy. I say stumbled because one of the many story problems in this movie is the origins of his practice. Seemingly he found out about it through YouTube videos, but then his hippie grandfather (Donald Sutherland) shows up acting as Zen as the day is long and you’re thoroughly confused.

Other plausibility problems include two seemingly bright eleven year olds sincerely believing they can make gold through alchemy (uh, what?) and an accumulation of other irritants such that by the time Grampa presents Milton with a giant graduated cylinder and calls it a BEAKER I exploded like the diner who ate the wafer thin mint at the end Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life.

Despite my fit of apoplexy it wasn’t all bad. Most of the actors are quite good in their roles and it was nice to see handsome Stratford Festival vet Graham Abbey on the screen as Milton’s workaholic father.

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