Many Beautiful Things DVD

Additional Information
  • Cast: Ashley Lane Adams, Michelle Dockery, Jerry Eisley
  • Director: Laura Waters Hinson
  • Languages: English
  • Release Date: 3/20/13
  • Run Time: 70 minutes
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Many Beautiful Things

Many Beautiful Things tells the story of one of the greatest artists the world has known and why her story is nearly unknown. Many Beautiful Things is about Lilias Trotter, a daring young woman growing up in the complex age of Victorian England. She went beyond everyone's expectations when she got the attention and approval of England's top art critic, John Rukin. In Victorian England, women were not considered able to produce high art, but Ruskin challenged her work to become "immortal." Many Beautiful Things shows the struggle Lilias has to deal with and the extent of human sacrifice. When Lilias travels to French Algeria in the late 1800's, she begins work with women and children and must wrestle with whether she can live her dream and her calling. Many Beautiful Things features the voices of Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey) and John Rhys-Davies (Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones).

The story of Many Beautiful Things movie

Many Beautiful Things DVD narrates the life of Lilias Trotter, a promising artist from the Victorian times who abandoned her life with the arts to do missionary work in Algeria, North Africa. As she goes to do what she felt as her calling, Lilias renounces to the offer of being a pupil to one of the most important artistic analysts of the time, John Ruskin. Many Beautiful Things records the letters and forming of the relationship between Lilias and John Ruskin. John, knowing of Lilias' true talent, always tries to convince her to return home and not lose her career and talent as an artist.

Many Beautiful Things documentary analyzes what made Lilia make this complex decision into becoming a missionary, letting go of her artistic talent not really knowing how to combine both in her daily life in the missionary field. In that moment where Lilia decides to leave to Africa, the Suffragette Movement was occurring in England therefore women's empowerment and self-determination is a theme that is available throughout the movie. The film was filmed in various locations like Washington, D.C., England and California.

John Rhys-Davies and the role of John Ruskin in Many Beautiful Things

John Rhys-Davies is famously known for his successful career in the stage and Hollywood. He's played roles in the famous Indiana Jones films and The Lord of the Rings. In this occasion Rhys-Davies plays critic and teacher of the arts, John Ruskin in Many Beautiful Things. He says that Ruskin was a complex character and a very important figure of his time although his work slowly forgotten after the first war. To him, Ruskin and Lilias had a very special relationship. They were very similar in some areas. Lilias was a woman who loved art and respected it just like John Ruskin did. Also, she had a good heart and she thought that those who were favored had to help those in need and try to make their lives better.

His character wants Lilias to center her attention to art and dedicate herself to that since he sees all the potential that she has. Rhys-Davies says that its somehow frustrating to his character in Many Beautiful Things that with the talent that Lilias has shown that it will not reach its full potential. Although she kept doing art in her journals and books, it remained there. She chose to be better in life and to help other over her growing talent in the arts.

To John Rhys-Davies being a part of the Many Beautiful Things movie makes him very pleased as working in other projects in the past. Even though he only gave his voice to the project, he feels very proud to be a part of the project. To him it's a very valuable, appealing and fascinating documentary. Rhys-Davies thinks that he's glad the film was done because to him it's imperative that audiences know how great Lilias Trotter was, how great an artist she was and that she chose to do something else and not focus only on being an artist. It will make viewers question themselves in what will they dedicate their lives and time to and if those choices are equally exclusionary.

How director Laura Waters Hinson came to know about Lilias Trotter from Many Beautiful Things

Laura Waters Hinson had never Heard of Lilias Trotter. One day she received an email of woman who was an expert on the life of Trotter. She was looking for a director to make a film possible of the life of Lilias and offered it to Laura. In that moment Laura had a baby who wasn't even 1 yet and felt that maybe she could forward the message to another director who would be interested. But after reading a book on women and their will to lead, Laura decided to give the woman who offered her the project.

After almost two hours of conversation through the phone, Laura was informed over Lilias Trotter's life. Laura was impacted by Lilias' humbleness and the anxiety she must have felt over deciding between having money and recognition through her artistic talents or giving in to the calling she felt to do missionary work.

To Laura it was very important to showcase that in that moment in time where Lilias Trotter is located in Many Beautiful Things there were hardly any women who were painters. Women who wanted to dedicate their lives to art and were considered talented, true artists by society. So being identified by Ruskin, the big art teacher and critic was something that demonstrated Lilias' true artistic talent.

Many Beautiful Things DVD Features

This film was directed by Laura Waters Hinson (Mama Rwanda) and executive produced by Hisao Kurosawa (The Hound of Heaven) and Sally and Brian Oxley (The River Thief).The musical score is made by Sleeping at Last. Many Beautiful Things runs for approximately 70 minutes and was released for the first time in the Manchester International Film Festival in the summer of 2015. The DVD has audio options for English and Japanese and closed captioning options for Korean, Japanese and Chinese.

When Calls the Heart


"It is written, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.".. ” - Matthew 4:4