Tuesday, February 01, 2011

MOVIE REVIEW: Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland
Number of Nominations: 3
Categories: Best Art Direction, Best Costumes, Best Visual Effects
Availability in US: DVD, Blu-ray
Trailer: Click for Trailer
Although its title implied that it is an adaptation of Lewis Carroll's classic children's tale, this film is not the Alice you grew up with. Set in the mythical Underland, and starring a much older, 18-year-old Alice, Alice in Wonderland is more of a sequel than an adaptation. We follow Alice on her journey back to Underland (she merely misheard it before and thought she was in "Wonderland") to try and defeat, once and for all, the evil Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter). The visual effects and art direction are stunning; an evaporating cheshire cat, realistic-looking Jabberwocky and Bandersnatch along with gorgeous backgrounds and sets make this film the best eye-candy of the year. The nominated makeup work is what we've come to expect from Tim Burton's fantasy films: over-the-top and cartoony, but incredibly satisfying.

As an overall film, Alice in Wonderland is sure to delight Tim Burton devotees as much as it will disappoint (and possibly anger) Lewis Carroll purists. If you can manage to separate it from the book and the Disney animated classic—easier said than done, since Disney made this film and attempts to evoke portions of the earlier work—then it is an exciting and entertaining piece of cinema in its own right. Furthermore, Oscar loves fantasy films when it comes to makeup and visual effects awards, so Alice could very well be headed to Oscar land soon enough.
Grade: A-

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