Dir: Tim Burton (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Sleepy Hollow, Edward Scissorhands)
Seen: March 5, 2010 at Scotiabank in 2D
Reason to see: Tim Burton directing, fantasy, female protagonist - you couldn't keep me away!
It's always a delight when there is a film out there that you want to welcome with open arms, and then it only gets better when it meets and exceeds expectation. This is what Alice in Wonderland (2010) does. Full of adventurous spirit, witty dialogue and trademark 'Burton bizarre' this tale of Alice is a joy to watch.
It's great to see the personal journey of a female protagonist, and even though it is in a fantasy setting it still provides powerful experiences and growth for her throughout the film. If that wasn't enough, she is one of several amazing ladies. Alice is the inadvertent adventurer, but adventurers always run into the most unlikely people. It's the most puzzling of formulas, no? Along the way we encounter the Red Queen played by Helena Bonham Carter in perfect over-the-top tyrant ruler fashion. Although I didn't always understand Anne Hathaway's choices in her depiction of The White Queen, I did love a lot of them, and I appreciated the fact that she totally went to the land of the weird which completely fits with the world of the film.
And what a world it is. Rich and alive full of colour and craziness. Bizarre juxtapositions and odd volumes are just the beginning of the brilliant and brave creative choices made to create this magical world. The characters, whether big or small in physical, literal or actual screen time are all rich in style and depth. From Johnny Depp as the curious yet cautious Mad Hatter to the divine purrfect animated Cheshire cat, we are treated to charismatic characters every step of the way. I even enjoyed the Tweedledee / Tweedledum character which I tend to find the least interesting, but here they were a beautiful combination of goofy, naive & entertaining.
The world wouldn't have been complete without a stitch to wear and the costumes here are divine. Colleen Atwood (Nine, Memoirs of a Geisha, Chicago, Big Fish) does it again, I always enjoy the costumes in the films she works on and here it's delivered in spades. Or technically, in hearts.
Overall, an amazing vision brought to live that provides a not only a visual treat but also a story to sing in our hearts. Fantastic.
Shannon's Overall View:
I loved it
I'll buy it
I recommend it as fans of fantasy and adventure films
17 minutes of preshow including 10 commercials and 5 previews: Furry Vengeance, The Karate Kid (2010), how to Train Your Dragon, The Sorcerer's Apprentice and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
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© Shannon Ridler, 2010