MOVIE REVIEW: ALICE IN WONDERLAND
"And whooooo are youuuuuu?"
There's a moment in the new Alice movie when the caterpillar (a computered Alan Rickman,) leans forward with his hookah. "You're Alice," he says to Mia Wasikowska, the suddenly-famous Australian in the title role, "But are you the real Alice?"
This story was published on March 4, 2010.
And the truth is, no, this character is not the Alice you watched tumble through the rabbit hole as a child. As soon as you get over that, the more you'll enjoy the movie - and really, you should.
This Alice focuses on a stubborn teen, more bent on wearing a sword and a compass than fitting into her older sister's corset. Sure, she's blonde and ballerina-perfect (it wouldn't be a Disney flick if she weren't), but get over that aspect and it's a whole different ballgame. As played by Ms. Mia (whose last name we can't really spell), the character is plucky, thoughtful, and a bit annoyed.
As for her compatriots, the word "overanimated" applies in every instance - they're wacky, they're weird, they're on that special blend of Tim Burton acid. Johnny Depp's Mad Hatter is Scottish, strange, and about to join America's Best Dance Crew. Helena Bonham Carter's Red Queen seems vaguely modeled after Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada - but with a head that's literally as big as her ego. And Anne Hathaway's curious White Queen recalls Glenda the Good Witch, until you realize she's been repressing some serial killer tendencies.
Sound like a lot to handle? Add in a battle scene, some talking puppies, and imagine the whole thing in 3-D, and you've got Tim Burton's two hour adventure.
So go in with an open mind, enjoy the cinematography, art direction, and costumes - which are literally breathtaking and so very cool - and forget about everything else. If the story makes no sense when the movie's over (and it probably won't), then just pull an Alice, say "it was all a dream," and go home with a smile.