Tuesday, February 13, 2007

a fairy tale for grown-ups

This movie has been haunting me since I saw it a few weeks ago. It is at once lovely and alarming, tender and violent, sweet and severe.

Watching it took me back immediately and completely to being a little girl told a story too scary for her ears. And, in spite of nearly fainting from fear, not wanting it to stop being told. I can easily imagine this feeling but it's been a very long time since I actually felt it. Sitting in that dark movie theatre, I was Alice shrinking in size.

The violence of this film is unmistakable. It is brutal, unpredictable, and unannounced. But there was something about even the violence that was innocent. It was as if it were imagined by a child. If you've ever talked to a child about gore you'll know that it's a mistake to assume they can't imagine it. But they often get it wrong, overdoing it in one area, underimagining in others. It is precisely with this sort of inconsistency that this violence is translated in this film. For instance, a gunshot to the face appears as just the tiniest hole in the cheek.

The movie is as much wonderful as it is disturbing. It is full of magic and surprises, fairies and secrets. It is a dream that has been brought to life, bringing with it the monsters from beneath the bed and the corners of the closet.

Go to the website to hear the amazing soundtrack.


michelle said...

i have heard this movie is fantastic and it's definately on my list. but no one i know has described it so fascinatingly as you have. i am more intrigued ..

Anonymous said...

Oh Amy, thank you for sharing about this movie. I've been eyeing it online since I saw the stills, the pictures are amazing (love the dark fairytale quality, definitely one on my 'to watch' list).

Michelle Legler said...

I saw this movie a few weeks ago and you couldn't have described it any better!

Darlene (Offbeat Aesthete) said...

I agree with mosaic queen: you described it beautifully. This movie also haunted me for days and days. I think the director did an amazing job going back and forth between the fantastic and the realistic, and the acting was wonderful all around. I highly recommend this film to anyone who'll listen. It touched me at my core.