Saturday, April 3, 2010
Filmmaker Tim Burton has done a lot of beloved movies such as “Edward Scissorhands,” starring Johnny Depp; “The Nightmare Before Christmas;” and now “Alice in Wonderland” (still playing in area theaters). I am never disappointed in his directing, and all I can say, “Bravo Tim Burton.”
Now onto the actors and crew he has assembled for “Alice.” You have to be very talented to play a role in any Tim Burton movie let alone in “Alice in Wonderland.” Mia Wasikowska, who played the role of Alice, was very fit for the part. She was into the character although there were times when you couldn’t see it. This is the first movie I have seen her in and I have to say she put on a good show. She left a lasting impression on me and I can’t wait to see more of her work. Helena Bonham Carter who played the Red Queen (and who is the lovely wife of Tim Burton) gave an outstanding performance. I know the Red Queen is supposed to be the bad guy and she was really good at it. She always goes all out in her performances like in “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” “Sweeney Todd,” and many more movies. She is by far one of my favorite actresses. She was incredible as the Red Queen and I don’t think anyone was better suited for the part.
Anne Hathaway, who played the White Queen, created a very graceful, loving character but one that apparently has some kind of muscle failure in her arms because her arms seemed to be stuck up in the air. That bothered me a bit. I understand trying to be graceful but you can still do something with your hands and be graceful at the same time. It distracted me when she was on screen because here was an amazing character played by a very talented actress but there were her hands just chilling up in the air. I wasn’t sure if she was reaching for something or just stretching. But on a good note, I think that Anne Hathaway was a very good choice for the part. Her face and her voice fit right into the grace of the character.
Stephen Fry, the voice of the Cheshire Cat, was a great Cheshire Cat. Why wasn’t his voice in the original movie? He’s perfect. I don’t really know how to critique his acting seeing as how I didn’t “see” any of him, I only “heard” his voice and that’s all I needed to give him two thumbs up. To all the actors who provided vocal talent for the characters -- Michael Sheen (White Rabbit), Alan Rickman (Blue Caterpillar), Christopher Lee (Jabberwocky), Michael Gogh (Dodo Bird), Barbara Windsor (Dormouse) -- I just have to say bravo! Their voices matched the characters they played. I hate watching a movie and hearing a voice that just doesn’t fit with the character. Matt Lucas, who played Tweedledee and Tweedledumb, had me busting up laughing. I have never seen someone play the role of two unpredictable characters and be so good. Although he wasn’t in the movie for long, I still believe that he was very good in his performance. Crispin Glover, who played the Knave of Hearts, was most definitely crude. I liked how the character was in the old Disney cartoon version of “Alice in Wonderland,” his character was much more keen and -- well I’m going to go out and say it -- he was a pushover to the Red Queen but not in this one. I enjoyed Glover’s take on the character, it was very not pushovery.
Now last but certainly not least, Johnny Depp! He played the role of the Mad Hatter, and was incredibly, inexplicably, amazing. I haven’t seen a role that Johnny Depp played that I didn’t fall in love with. The way he was 100% into his character was captivating. He is by far my favorite actor ever. In my eyes no one can compare. I believe I will never see a better performance of the Mad Hatter. You could tell that he got lost in his character. He’s the actor who got me into acting. His performances have never let me down: “Benny and Joon,” “Sweeney Todd,” “The Libertine,” “Edward Scissorhands,” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Pirates of the Caribbean” (all three), and many more. The only part that made me literally “face palm” was the dance. Johnny why? The dance was horrendous and not easy on the eyes. Other than that, he was perfect as always.
“Alice in Wonderland” (rated PG for fantasy action/violence involving scary images and situations, and for a smoking caterpillar) in general was not all I expected it to be but I believe it’s because I went into the theater with such high expectations that no movie could possibly reach. But nevertheless the movie was great and I give it two thumbs up and ten toes up. The movie got as close to my expectations as it could and for that I give them all the props they deserve. I enjoyed the movie and it definitely is a movie worth seeing.
--Marina McBreaty is a sophomore at Mount Miguel High School and will be playing Rosencrantz in their production of “Hamlet 2.”