Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Alice in Wonderland (2010)


Dir: Tim Burton (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Sleepy Hollow, Edward Scissorhands)
Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Sheen, Christopher Lee, Alan Rickman, Crispin Glover
USA, 2010

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


Franco Macabro said...

Great to see a positive review, Im seeing this one tomorrow!

Tammy said...

Yay! I loved reading your review, Shannon! I'm definitely going to see this one! I think I can talk my husband into going also. Can't wait!

Jenny said...

Aaa, I can't wait to see this film! I have a love-hate relationship with Tim Burton but I'm hoping I come down love on this one. Glad you enjoyed it!

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

I hope everyone enjoys the film! It's well worth seeing and I found it positively delightful, and strange in the best possible ways.

Ryan McNeil said...

Chalk me up as another person happy to see a positive review amongst the long line of critics looking to kick the crap out of this.

While I can't share in the sentiment that it met/exceeded my expectations...I certainly did enjoy it, and keep coming back to a lot of what it achieved in the days since I watched it.

Glad you dug it! when you have a chance, give my review a read (and perhaps my podcast a listen?).

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

I dare say I'm sure you have more knowledge than I on the source material Hatter, so I bet you'd be a harder to please. I don't get why it would get bad reviews - I'll have to take a look at some of them and I'll be sure to read yours!

Anonymous said...

bit of ordinary to see how the Disney was able to make this movie. usually they used lot of live ware but here in this movie it was more about the 3D Technical stuff used to made it. i did enjoy this movie over the past week end and guys it can be recommended for almost any one.

Suzie Ridler said...

I am so happy to hear you liked it Shannon! Funny, it is about Alice and yet I have seen nothing about her, just Hatter and the Queen. She must be pretty good for you to have enjoyed it. Can't wait to get out to see this one. A lot of the time this story freaks me out but I enjoyed the made-for-TV version so much that I hope this one knocks my socks off.

Andrew Hosley said...

These aren't actors working in front of blue screens with obvious effects dubbed in later. You really are in Wonderland. Real life and CGI are seamless.

M. Carter @ the Movies said...

There's no doubt in my mind that the visuals were awesome, and they deserve to be seen in 2D (I eventually saw both and vastly preferred 2D). But some of the characters let me down, like Johnny Depp's Hatter, who was too all-over-the-place for me to like him. And then there wasn't enough of the really juicy characters, like Helena Bonham Carter's Red Queen, Anne Hathaway's White Queen and the Cheshire Cat.

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