VIDEO: Walter Mitty is dreamy Christmas hit

Film fans dreaming of a bright Christmas movie full of spectacular effects, belly laughs and breathtaking photography are going crackers for The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty, writes Graham Walker.

Throw in an inspirational message and heaps of festive sentimentalism and Ben Stiller’s latest outing is set to be a sure fire Christmas hit.

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty

VIDEO: Press the play button to watch trailer highlights and the verdict of Sheffield film fans.

The PG cert family film, now on general release, has Stiller directing and taking the title role in a classic story of an average Joe who seeks escape from reality through day dreaming.

Mitty’s mundane life, with him facing redundancy, turns into an epic adventure as he sets out to find a missing negative frame which is to be the final front cover of Life magazine. Along the way he finds courage to win the heart of a pretty co-worker, played by Kristen Wiig.

The film is based on the character made famous by author James Thurber in his 1939 short story of the same name, first brought to the big screen as a Danny Kaye musical comedy in 1947.

Ben Stiller in The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty

Ben Stiller in The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty

Lucky competition winners and other VIPs gave the new Stiller version a big thumbs up at an advanced preview screening at Sheffield’s Cineworld.

Ellie Adkins, aged 18, a student, of Sheffield, said: “It was beautiful. It had a really beautiful story line but also all the images in it. It was just amazing.”

Matthew White, 14, a schoolboy, of Sheffield, said: “It’s one of those original films - sort of a little gem, really. A good piece of film making. I really enjoyed it.”

Audrey Holloway, 68, retired, of Sutton-In-Ashfield, said: “I thought it was great. It had got everything. I’m glad it had got a happy ending though as well. I do like happy endings.”

Lola Panic, 17, a student, of Sheffield, said: “It was amazing. One of the first films I’ve had a shiver about, even watching the trailer. It’s about following your dreams and I loved it.

Harry Walker, 16, a student, of Barnsley, said: “It was a class film. It had loads of depth to it and it got you thinking about life. I would highly recommend it to anyone.”

Tim Holloway, 45, a civil servant, of Chesterfield, said: “It was really good. It was funny, dramatic, sentimental - lots of things. Certainly different.”

Connor Campbell, 17, a student, of Barnsley, said: “It was a great film. Well played by Ben Stiller and I would highly recommend it to anyone. I really enjoyed it.”

Daniel Thwaites, 27, an IT worker, of Sheffield, said: “It’s great. So funny and really off-beat. Really imaginative.”

Elliot Hoy, 25, an export clerk, of Sheffield, said: “It was very good. The photography was fantastic with great backdrops. It was inspiring and I really enjoyed it.”