Netflix seems to think I love sci-fi, children's movies, and period dramas with a strong female lead. I would certainly never put my tastes into so simple terms, but maybe Netflix has learned a thing or two about what I like: I usually end up enjoying the things Netflix thinks I will like.
Although Netflix nudged that I would quite like The Secret of Moonacre, I added it to my Instant Queue rather carelessly: it didn't look particularly noteworthy or much beyond a "children's/family movie." And perhaps its plot wasn't entirely things I hadn't seen before. But there are three things that can tip the scale on a movie like this to a favorable position: good actors, good sets, and good costumes.
These three things can wrap you up, keep you in the story, and allow you to follow along with it as if it is entirely new. The Secret of Moonacre has a touch of The Secret Garden, Miss Potter, and something slightly of Bridge to Terebithia (this being also because the two share the same director). Maybe even almost something Lemony Snicket (it could be the costumes). It's a bit of fantasy, a bit of whimsy, a bit of storytelling.
It's simple, but still layered. It's fantasy, but logical and grounded (I mean this in a good way . . . ). It's perhaps a "children's/family movie," but it's nicely put together, and that makes all the difference. It's a movie to sit back and smile out upon the imagination with, quietly and contentedly.