Maps to the Stars

mapstothestars

 

DIRDavid Cronenberg  WRI: Bruce Wagner  PRO: Saïd Ben Saïd, Martin Katz, Michel Merkt  DOP: Peter Suschitzky  ED: Ronald Sanders  DES: Carol Spier  MUS: Howard Shore  CAST: Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, Olivia Williams, Sarah Gadon, John Cusack, Robert Pattinson 

David Cronenberg has built his career on shock, but what happens when he chooses a subject that not only is unable to shock audiences, but is also so mundane that it is available to us through a simple finger tip to our phones? The subject matter of which I speak is the sordid social fabric of Tinseltown, Hollywood, U.S.A., which Cronenberg and screenwriter Bruce Wagner tackle in Maps to the Stars.

Well, they don’t exactly tackle this notion of Hollywood lifestyle as much as they give us a glimpse of what we already know via the constant bombardment of social media and sleaze journalism. Maps delves into the nooks and crannies of Hollywood and some of its unsavory characters. A society where status, age and looks are constantly scrutinized, where movie stars refer to their maids as “chore whores” and everybody hides under a mound of drugs.

Yes, it does sound like a delightful scandalous romp of excess and maniacal nihilism, and it possibly could have been some odd twenty years ago, however, this generation’s savvy cynicism preempts this sort of behavior. We are living in an age, where celebrities’ personal lives are on display 24/7 for the universe to criticize. The Justin Biebers, Lindsay Lohan’s and Kanye Kardashian’s of this world have already been crucified on a daily basis. With all this in mind, one might find Maps to the Stars a tad stale and its characters are all too easy to hate. The audience should have to work and debate in a satire of this magnitude, not enter the theatre knowing whom the scumbag is then leaving with the same opinion in tact.

However, Maps to the Stars is not your regular classical narrative structure. It’s a surreal feature that attempts to portray the nightmare disguised by the glitz and glamour of the business. The question isn’t “is it surreal?” The question is “is it surreal enough?”. We get the sense that Maps to the Stars doesn’t quite know what it is. It possesses a strong sense of realism through its great performances and violence, but it throws in a ghost or two to hint a supernatural element. The most stylistic audacious movie of this kind of genre was David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, which was complete other world of mind-fuckery in itself. At the end of Mulholland Drive you couldn’t fathom what the hell actually happened, but you enjoyed the ride nonetheless. However, with Maps to the Stars you might not have entirely understood what went on, but you didn’t really care either.

Some may argue that with today’s online social paparazzi, a movie like this may seem redundant. It’s true that our post modern, nonchalant barriers are hard to penetrate, but maybe if we are shown the flipside of the coin, a celebrity superstar’s POV of the TMZ parasites and abuse from trolls hiding behind the comfort of their computer screens. We’re not good; we just know how to hide.

Cronenberg’s incredible vision and creativity is on a higher plateau than this. His gift has always been producing original and wild fictional worlds that no one but he could invent. With Maps to the Stars he has given us a film we can just swipe to the side like another tabloid story hurdling down the endless information highway.

Cormac O’Meara

18 (See IFCO for details)

111 minutes

Maps to the Stars is released 26th September 2014

Maps to the Stars – Official Website

 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwxmnyoofPs
 

Share

Cinema Review: Tracks

images

DIR: John Curran  WRI: Marion Nelson  PRO: Iain Canning, Emile Sherman  DOP: Mandy Walker  DES: Melinda Doring  Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Adam Driver, Emma Booth, Jessica Tovey, Melanie Zanetti

 

Since taking on the title role in Tim Burton’s long-awaited adaptation of Alice In Wonderland four years ago, Australian starlet Mia Wasikowska has seen her stock rising considerably with each passing performance. A noted ballet dancer in her youth, the Canberra native had previously featured alongside Gabriel Byrne in the critically acclaimed HBO series In Treatment, and could also be seen opposite Daniel Craig and future co-star Jamie Bell in Edward Zwick’s Defiance.

 

It was the coveted role of Alice Kingsleigh that truly put her on the Hollywood map, however, and although Burton’s CG-heavy re-telling of Lewis Carroll’s fantasy novel wasn’t necessarily the ideal scenario for her to display her acting chops, subsequent parts in The Kids Are All Right, Jane Eyre, Lawless and Stoker have shown that she can hold her own in A-list company.

 

She was also seen recently in the Jesse Eisenberg vehicle The Double, but in bringing Robyn Davidson’s award-winning book, Tracks, to the big screen, American filmmaker John Curran has opted to give Wasikowska centre stage. Girls star Adam Driver (whose silver screen credits include Lincoln, Frances Ha and Inside Llewyn Davis) does offer dependable support, but for much of the film’s running time, the 24-year-old is sharing the screen with four camels and her faithful dog.

 

Curran’s fifth feature film depicts a remarkable nine-month period in Davidson’s life, when she embarked on a 1,700 mile journey from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean across the vast terrain of the Australian deserts. Having worked with camels for two years in Australia’s Northern Territory, Davidson finally began her arduous journey in 1977, with all her trials and tribulations captured by Driver’s inquisitive photographer Rick Smolan.

 

Davidson was originally reluctant to chronicle her adventures, but after recognising the sponsorship benefits that are available, she eventually decides to write an article for the famed National Geographic Magazine. Tracks was later spawned from this immensely popular piece, and was given the inaugural Thomas Cook Travel Book Award in 1980.

 

The importance that was attached to Davidson’s story inevitably attracted interest from the film industry, and in the years that followed the book’s release, Julia Roberts and Nicole Kidman (Wasikowska’s Stoker colleague) were linked to the lead role. Indeed, development on a potential movie adaptation started before Wasikowska was born, but for a variety of reasons, it has taken more than three decades for its arrival into multiplexes.

 

While the passing of time has perhaps made it difficult for the film to have the same relevance to a modern-day audience, the response at a variety of film festivals (including the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival) has made it a worthwhile venture.

 

In a physically demanding role, Wasikowska is in terrific form, and perfectly embodies the spirit that helped to make Davidson an enduring figure in her native country. She experiences an array of emotions during her expedition, but while there are times that she considers bringing her trek to an abrupt halt, she is ultimately determined to achieve her goal.

 

Whereas films of this nature normally focus on a singular journey, it is actually the people that Davidson encounters en route to her final destination that give us a true glimpse into the heart of the story. The inhabitants of Australia’s outback certainly have an impact on her journey, and force her to emerge even further from her comfort zone.

 

The most significant relationship of the film is undoubtedly the one between Davidson and Smolan, which is initially quite distant (Davidson views Smolan as both a nuisance and a distraction), but later becomes much more intimate. It takes a while for Davidson to fully realise how important Smolan is to her voyage of discovery, but the arrival of a more intrusive media presence shows us how sincere his motives are.

 

As with any film that aims to capture the Australian landscape (and it is a scenery that has been featured in a whole host of genres), Tracks has a very strong aesthetic, and in the capable hands of cinematographer Mandy Walker, it is beautifully realised.

 

The career of Curran as a film director has been erratic up to this point, and while he was lauded for his 2006 version of W. Somerset Maugham’s The Painted Veil, he was accused of self-indulgence in his sophomore feature, We Don’t Live Here Anymore. His most recent film was 2010’s Stone, which was a major box-office disappointment despite the presence of Robert De Niro and Edward Norton, and he will hope that Tracks will have a bigger reach in his home nation when it enjoys a general release in late May.

 

He has certainly done everything in his power to make the story accessible, and though some may feel that it falls into repetition at times, and allows its plot to meander, there is more than enough to keep cinemagoers onside. An autumn release may well have given it more sleeper potential, but it will pass through cinemas before the congested summer schedule, which can only benefit the film’s prospects in the long run.

Daire Walsh

12A (See IFCO for details)
112 mins

Tracks is released on 25th April 2014

Tracks – Official Website

Share

Cinema Review: The Double

thedouble

DIR: Richard Ayoade • WRI: Richard Ayoade , Avi Korine • PRO: Amina Dasmal, Robin C. Fox • DOP: Erik Wilson • ED: Nick Fenton • MUS: Andrew Hewitt • DES: David Crank • CAST: Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska, Chris O’ Dowd, Sally Hawkins

Judged purely by the trailers, you would be forgiven for thinking Richard Ayoade’s latest movie was a simple comedy about mistaken identities.  However, there is a real depth to The Double that goes beyond laughs, and connects much more firmly with the grotesquery of its base material – the seminal, and surreal, Dostoyevsky novella.  By combining the ridiculous with the existential, Ayoade has managed to create a coherent dystopian future that seems to derive directly from the present – which means the humour can sometimes appear more like hysterical terror.

 

The film focuses on Simon (Jesse Eisenberg), a spineless lackey in an oversized suit who struggles through the daily grind of cubicle life in a soulless office, where his work is underappreciated and he is ignored by all and sundry.  Into his grey life comes Hannah (Mia Wasikowska), a fresh and vibrant woman who defies the darkness of their colourless world.  However, she is at pains to make it clear from the outset that she is nobody’s saviour – Hannah cannot function as the only bright light in a dismal existence, and it is up to Simon to find his own path to self-identity.  Simon’s journey is vastly complicated by the intrusion of a brash and successful James  into his life – everyone loves James, and at first even Simon is in thrall to him too.  He is everything Simon is not – confident, likeable and assured…with the added complication that he is also the exact double of Simon, something only he seems to see.  Simon’s journey of self-discovery is thus derailed by James’ appropriation of his dreams and hopes, with vastly better results than Simon has ever managed.  As James brings Simon from crisis to crisis, leaving devastation in his path, Simon must question whether any attention is better than the life of anonymity he had previously been experiencing.  Is James a better ‘him’, or is he an unredeemable doppelganger, sent to torment his life and usurp his world?

 

Jesse Eisenberg is faced with the unenviable task of playing two diametrically opposed characters, who happen to star in almost every scene together – and it is a feat he manages with considerable aplomb.  His downcast features perfectly encapsulate Simon’s crushed hopes and spiritless mentality, while at the same time the smug smirk and cocky manner he has previously used to such great effect just as equally embodies the charismatic and self-satisfied character of James.  Ably abetted by a deep and emotional performance from Wasikowska as Hannah, Eisenberg’s Simon and James are immediately recognisable as separate people – no easy feat when someone has ‘stolen your face’.  Ayoade has also coaxed subtle performances from the supporting cast; the always-gratifying Wallace Shawn as Simon’s kinetic boss Mr. Papadopoulos and the beautiful Yasmin Paige, making a welcome return to Ayoade’s template as the bored Melanie Papadopoulos, shine in particular.  As is generally the case in British film, Ayoade’s comedy friends make brief appearances – popping up in odd places for the occasional giggle, though thankfully never stealing scenes as superfluous cameos…there is no silly Anchorman-style redundant humour to be found in Ayoade’s world.

 

Those expecting the romantic warmth of Submarine, Ayoade’s previous movie, are likely to be disappointed, as The Double focuses more heavily on the absence of meaning than the restorative powers of love.  That’s not to say that this is a movie without hope, though, and Ayoade is at pains to differentiate his interpretation from Dostoyevsky’s gloomy outlook on the possibility of humanity in crushing systems of bureaucracy.  In this, Ayoade proves himself to be taking the surrealist mantle from Terry Gilliam in terms of escape from dystopia:  in the end, no matter how soulless humanity may appear, it only takes one real connection to make the difference.  A solid exploration of the path to identity from an exciting and innovative director, The Double manages the very great task of making terrifying dystopian futures feel very present, whilst ensuring we can still occasionally laugh about our impending doom.

 Sarah Griffin

16 (See IFCO for details)
92 mins

The Double is released on 4th April 2014

The Double – Official Website

Share

Cinema Review: Only Lovers Left Alive

lovers04

 

DIR/WRI: Jim Jarmusch  PRO: Reinhard Brundig, Jeremy Thomas   DOP: Yorick Le Saux ED: Affonso Gonçalves • MUS: Jozef van Wissem  DES: Marco Bittner Rosser  CAST: Tom Hiddleston, Tilda Swinton, Mia Wasikowska, John Hurt

 

The oddest thing has happened to vampires over the last few decades – they have lost their ability to bite. Originally embodying a monstrous sexual predator, their desire to penetrate the necks of beautiful young woman had previously been their overriding attribute. Now, they seem more concerned with the moral quandary of biting and these previous imps of evil have transformed into moody, self-indulgent figures. Surely we have humans enough for that?

 

Moody and self-indulgent are also labels that could be applied to Jim Jarmusch’s latest venture Only Lovers Left Alive. Despite being a vampire romance, this film will equally dissatisfy any Twlight or horror movie-fans that venture along to see it. However, Jarmusch fans who are ready to be absorbed into this his aesthetically and aurally rich world of by gone Hipster-dom won’t leave disappointed.

 

The plot, if that is not too strong a word for this meandering piece, centres around two vampires called Adam (Tom Hiddleston) and Eve (Tilda Swinton). Even after being married for nearly two centuries they are still in love like newly weds. Adam lives in a suburb of run down Detroit, symbolically representative of how he feels humanity (who he refers to as “zombies”) has reached an all time low. He skulks around his run-down mansion, playing complicated music while contemplating ending his world-weary existence. Basically, he’s that guy you knew in University who carried around a copy of the Communist Manifesto, only wore black, listened to obscure music and thought everyone else was an idiot. Eve is the metaphorical and literal light to his darkness. Dressing only in white with stark blonde hair, she lures him out of his depressive with talk of the wonders of the universe and the glories of past cultural endeavours. They name drop to the point of obscenity, Byron is labelled “a pompous bore” while Eve congratulates Adam on letting Schubert take the credit for his music. These modern vampires only drink blood procured from hospitals and reliable sources; biting necks is considered “so 15th century”.  The action builds to the arrival of Eve’s little sister Ava (Mia Wasikowska). Despite being an ancient vampire she has all the characteristics of an annoying teenager, and she comes to wreak havoc on their blissful, loved up existence. However, once again “action” is a strong word to give to any part of the script; this is a film to be enjoyed for the atmosphere and languid pacing rather than any plot driven devices.

 

In reality, this need not have been a film about vampires. It could have been about any rich, boho hipsters with family issues and a massive drug problem; the drug in this case just happens to be blood. Being around for centuries has meant these vampires have mastered the world of music, literature, science and language. This often makes them come across as pretentious cultural snobs, as Ava labels the two lovers. But I suppose if you have conquered all realms of culture you are somewhat entitled to be elitist. Jarmusch’s movies have often centred around despondent, cool figures. Yet in Only Lovers Left Alive he seems overly concerned with highlighting their inherent “coolness”, like when they wear biker gloves and sunglasses at night, even inside, for some unexplained reason.

 

The soundtrack is at the heart of the piece, taking influence from the underground rock scene of Detroit to traditional Moroccan music in Tangier, where the couple end up. Swinton outshines the rest of the cast as the tender, light-hearted lover to the artistically tortured Hiddleston, who seems to channel an angst-ridden Jim Morrison for his role.

 

If this is a Jim Jarmusch romance, then his love is directed toward music, literature and culture of bygone eras. However, a note in the end credits to his long-term partner Sara Driver could explain the heart at the centre of this story. Perhaps they’re the only two punks left on a planet over crowed with talentless celebrities. The world of Only  Lovers Left Alive creates a refuge from this place.

Deirdre Mc Mahon

15A (See IFCO for details)
122  mins

Only Lovers Left Alive is released on 21st February 2014
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Only+Lovers+Left+Alive&sm=3
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share

Cinema Review: Stoker

 

DIR: Chan-wook Park • WRI: Wentworth Miller, Erin Cressida Wilson •  PRO: Michael Costigan, Ridley Scott,  Tony Scott  • DOP: Chung-hoon Chung • ED: Nicolas De Toth • DES: Thérèse DePrez • CAST: Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, Matthew Goode

 

Like many J-Horror and Hong Kong action directors past, it was inevitable that several of the talented and successful Korean Wave directors would eventually emigrate to Hollywood. It makes sense: that is where the money is, and there’s already a cult audience in English-speaking territories. Unfortunately, as has been proven by the likes of John Woo and Hideo Nakata, increased resources do not always directly equate to artistic triumphs. No matter: two cult Koreans have decided to give it a go regardless. The subversive genre master Kim Jee-woon made the transition only a few weeks ago withThe Last Stand – generally regarded as a decent enough effort but a far cry from the bold and provocative likes of I Saw the Devil or A Tale of Two Sisters. Can Park Chan-wook – director of the beloved Vengeance Trilogy and Thirst – do any better with his English language debut Stoker?

 

Breathe a sigh of relief, Oldboy fans! While it’s questionable whether Stoker will be quite as warmly received as his previous work, Park has ensured he’s hit Hollywood soil at a sprint. It becomes quickly apparent that stylistically at least this is a film every bit as demented, eccentric and intoxicating as his native-language fare. Stoker is a film that builds its creepy, intense atmosphere around boldly cinematic language. Chan-wook has made the wise decision to bring his frequent cinematography collaborator Chung-hoon Chung along for the ride, and together they record a huge amount of rich images. Consistently offbeat framing choices and distinctive lighting perfectly suit the film’s strange goings-on. Added to this is the visceral editing that allows the already powerful images to truly resonate. This is perhaps the most stunningly presented mainstream release 2013 has yet offered. Clint Mansell offers a suitably effective score.

 

Lucky the film’s style is so enchanting, as the director is working with a script (written, somewhat bizarrely, by the Prison Break lead actor Wentworth Miller) that necessitates such an imaginative presentation. The title refers to the Stoker family, particularly teenage India (an excellent Mia Wasikowska). After her father dies, she’s not left alone with her mother Evelyn (Nicole Kidman) for too long before long lost uncle Charles (Matthew Goode) comes to stay – in fact, he doesn’t even leave after the funeral. Evelyn is welcoming of such a charming male presence, but India is immediately less fond of her mysterious uncle. Suspicions are further raised following a brief visit by aunt Gwendolyn (JackiWeaver) who is visibly not too happy about Charles’ sudden reappearance. It is clear all is not as it seems.

 

For the first hour, this is all perfectly serviceable stuff: it’s weird, disturbing, darkly comic and – as is to be expected from Park Chan-wook – cheekily perverse. The performances are strong, particularly from the talented Wasikowska, who has finally been granted a lead role that makes great use out of obvious talents under-utilised in the likes of Alice in Wonderland. It’s the last half-hour that struggles to sustain the cleverness, with a few unconvincing and predictable developments proving to be notable script weak points.

 

Luckily, even as the script falters, Chan-wook gives it his all, and the film is consistently imaginatively directed. At ninety minutes it also doesn’t overstay its welcome, and makes up for a few prior shortcomings with a killer ending. The greatest compliment that we can pay to the Korean auteur – for the first time working with someone else’s screenplay – is that this script in the hands of any other director would likely fail to ignite. Under his guiding hand, Stoker is instead damn close to a triumph.

Stephen McNeice

18 (see IFCO website for details)
98mins
Stoker is released on 1st March 2013

Stoker  – Official Website

Share

Cinema Review: Jane Eyre

Q: How did Jane Eyre get the chicken across the road? A: Reader, she carried him.

DIR: Cary Fukunaga • WRI: Moira Buffini • PRO: Alison Owen, Paul Trijbits • DOP: Adriano Goldman • ED: Melanie Oliver • DES: Will Hughes-Jones • CAST: Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell

Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre is a tale which we are all familiar with on some level. We may not know all of the ins and outs, or even care about them, but we all have a general idea about this ‘plain Jane’ character and her experiences. This year, Jane Eyre is re-imagined by director Cary Fukunaga, who attempts to breathe new life into this Gothic romance.

The Gothic genre is one which has always been inextricably linked to romance, as the novels of the Victorian era insisted upon this connection (that’s right folks, even before Stephanie Meyer was born!). In all of these novels there exists deep erotic undertones and an intense need for sexual freedom, and the knowledge of every facet of this person who exists as Other. Jane Eyre has become the epitome of this Gothic-romance genre and is a story which has been told under many guises.

Mia Wasikowska is of course, anything other than a plain Jane but here she is transformed into a severe-looking character who seems to have been drained of all colour, as if the very breath of life has been sucked from her over the course of her short life. This, in itself is a triumph of this movie, the costume and make-up here is astounding as the entire piece is told through muted colours and dulled tones, which, in any other story, would have the audience turn away in boredom. Here there is some small colour, some small point of interest which keeps us itching for a wider colour palate.

This is, in terms of romance, the most human telling of this story. Bronte’s novel can often come off stifling in its heavy descriptions, and previous movie adaptations have painted Mr. Rochester as some kind of foreign demon. Here, through Michael Fassbender’s take on the character, for what must be the first time, we feel pity for Mr. Rochester, and we pray for his success, and the fast release from his pains. Where, in previous adaptations, we may have feared him, here we feel that sexual tension, that longing which makes the Gothic-romance genre so enjoyable. It is a genre, much copied, but very rarely pulled off.

The one downfall of this movie is the horror aspect, or lack thereof. Bronte’s novel presents us with a bleakly horrific landscape, and that mounting tension of the build-up to a ‘jump-scare’ that may, or may not ever come. In this adaptation, that tension seems entirely absent, the play on the Other seems entirely absent, and Thornfield, although imposing in stature, entirely lacks that Unheimlich tension throughout. This lack in tension makes the ultimate reveal of the story less shocking than it has been previously, and somehow takes away from the movie as a whole. Here we focus too much on the romance, and the gothic aspects somewhat falter as a result.

Cary Fukunaga’s Jane Eyre is a successful re-telling of this popular tale. It is an enjoyable movie which unfortunately leaves the audience itching for more. The romantic aspects of the genre are portrayed to perfection, but we are left with only a hint of the Gothic or Horror motifs which should be a focal point here.

Ciara O’Brien

Rated 12A (see IFCO website for details)

Jane Eyre is released on 9th September 2011

Jane Eyre – Official Website

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8J6Cjn06kA

Share

Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland

DIR: Tim Burton • WRI: Linda Woolverton• PRO: Joe Roth, Jennifer Todd, Suzanne Todd, Richard D. Zanuck • DOP: Dariusz Wolski • ED: Chris Lebenzon • DES: Robert Stromberg • CAST: Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway

For many, the idea of Tim Burton not only getting his hands on the wherewithal to finally add 3-D to his dreamscape pictures, but also to inject Alice with some 21st century pizzazz, was a match made in Wonderland. Happily, cohorts Helena Bonham Carter and Johnny Depp soon joined the bandwagon, and the movie was deemed all but perfect before a single scene had been viewed.

Whilst it doesn’t quite live up to these illustrious beginnings – and what could! – it nevertheless brings to screen one of the liveliest, most mesmerising and downright entertaining re-imaginings of Alice ever…well…imagined. Burton is the perfect mix of darkness and light to capture the literary nonsense of Lewis Carroll’s fragmented tale of stunted growth and avoided adolescence. What Burton has done, (to some purists’ eternal chagrin), has combined both Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, and joined the fragments of both to create a more linear narrative. Whilst this might nullify some of the more nonsensical elements of the original tales, what it does do is make for an easier-to-follow storyline, and a more satisfying denouement. It’s worth remembering, though, that even when a tale is linear in the world of Tim Burton, it does not necessarily make for a straightforward movie!

Depp, of course, is mesmerising as the Mad Hatter – as he mentioned himself, what he wanted to bring to his character was fear at his own madness. It’s all very well being mad when you don’t realise it – a lot of people can get on quite happily like that – but if you know that you are crazy, and can’t always control it, then it becomes a fearful thing. His menacing Glaswegian accent highlights the intensity, as does his post-enhanced massive eyes, but beneath it all, Depp is as at home in this wonderful world as in all of his Burton escapades. Bonham Carter’s Red Queenie is a comic mix of foolishness, conceit and globular head – her impeccable skills keeping it from farce, and Anne Hathaway’s good queen is regal and charming, and just a little bit nuts herself. Not to forget the surprisingly-older titular Alice, all confusion and gumption, brought together winningly by Mia Wasikowska. Add to this the anthropomorphic array of delightful creatures that cross her path – from Stephen Fry’s Chesire Cat, through Alan Rickman’s Caterpillar, and Christopher Lee’s terrifying Jabberwock – and the Wonderland is complete.

The 3-D may have been added after shooting, and certainly contains some cheap ‘throw-things-at-the-audience’ shots, but Burton’s dreamlike mindscape is exactly what 3-D has been waiting for. Fantasy, adventure, a wonderland below our earth, a cast of colourful characters, and logic out the window: these things make for a movie event that begs to be experienced in big screen. What Burton does better than any other director – perhaps with the exception of Wes Anderson – is use the cinema screen as his own personal canvas, painting scenes of such obvious delight that you can’t help but be carried away with his enthusiasm. So what if Avril Lavigne maligns your ears with a rendition of Alice? So what if the Hatter’s dance seems totally out of place and meant for toddlers? So what if he takes liberties with an acknowledged hotchpotch of literary ideas? The fact remains that when Tim Burton makes a movie, anything goes, and everything works in its own way.

All in all, niggly doubts aside, Burton has brought Alice’s Wonderland to life as only he can: fantastical, beautiful, and a wonder to behold.

Sarah Griffin
(See biog here)

Rated PG (see IFCO for details)

Alice in Wonderland is released 5th Mar 2010

Alice in Wonderland – Official Website

Share