review for Fairy Tale: A True Story on AllMovie

Fairy Tale: A True Story (1997)
by Matthew Doberman review

Fairy Tale: A True Story is a unique, charming tale about belief, imagination, and the magic of youth. The story -- which centers on two young girls' purported photos of fairies -- also touches on deeper themes of loss and mortality, and the desire to prove that there is something beyond mortal life. Florence Hoath and Elizabeth Earl are impressive as the film's impish young leads; of import to adult viewers are the performances of Peter O'Toole and Harvey Keitel as, respectively, Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini. It's fascinating to watch as the two little girls capture the fascination of two of the era's great personalities. Some older viewers may take issue with the story's factual treatment of the photos, since in reality, they were soon confirmed as hoaxes; and younger children may have little patience for the adult characters' ruminations. Nevertheless, like most good children's films, Fairy Tale will captivate the old and young alike. Mel Gibson's company produced the film; look for him in a tiny cameo.