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Phoebe in Wonderland (2009)

Elle Fanning , Patricia Clarkson , Daniel Barnz  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

List Price: $9.98
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Product Details

  • Actors: Elle Fanning, Patricia Clarkson, Felicity Huffman, Bill Pullman, Campbell Scott
  • Directors: Daniel Barnz
  • Writers: Daniel Barnz
  • Producers: Ben Barnz, Chris Finazzo, Doug Dey, George Paaswell, Lynette Howell
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 23, 2009
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0026KWME4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #310,283 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Phoebe in Wonderland" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

This heartfelt, fantastical story of a troubled, imaginative girl (Elle Fanning, The Door in the Floor) devoted to Alice in Wonderland explores the agonies of growing up as an outsider and the complexities of parenting. Oscar nominee* Felicity Huffman (Transamerica, TV's Desperate Housewives) gives one of the most powerful performances of her career as Phoebe's guilt-ridden mother. She and her perplexed husband (Bill Pullman, Independence Day) initially see Phoebe's unusual behavior as signs of creativity, but with the help of an unconventional drama teacher (Oscar nominee** Patricia Clarkson, Lars and the Real Girl), they soon realize that their daughter is in danger of falling "through the looking glass." *Best Actress: Transamerica, 2005 **Best Supporting Actress: Pieces of April, 2003

Stills from Phoebe in Wonderland (Click for larger image)




Product Description

This heartfelt, fantastical story of a troubled, imaginative girl (Elle Fanning, The Door in the Floor) devoted to Alice in Wonderland explores the agonies of growing up as an outsider and the complexities of parenting. Oscar nominee Felicity Huffman (Transamerica, TV's Desperate Housewives) gives one of the most powerful performances of her career as Phoebe's guilt-ridden mother. She and her perplexed husband (Bill Pullman, Independence Day) initially see Phoebe's unusual behavior as signs of creativity, but with the help of an unconventional drama teacher (Oscar nominee Patricia Clarkson, Lars and the Real Girl), they soon realize that their daughter is in danger of falling through the looking glass.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Awesome June 24, 2009
Format:DVD
Wow. I put this on at 2 am thinking it was a kids movie that I could watch as I drifted to sleep. I was very wrong. Instead, it's a complex, deep, insightful masterpiece that made me cry two or three times.

Don't be fooled by the cover. This is not a movie for children. The story focuses on a free-willed family with writer/scholar parents, and very bright young daughters. The lightheartedness slowly gives way to a deep heartfelt story of a young girl developing OCD and Tourettes while just trying to keep her lead in the school play of Alice in Wonderland. Her drama teacher, played by Patricia Clarkson, is a quiet, Nanny McPhee-type who is able to connect to Phoebe a little bit better than everyone else. I almost got annoyed with that, since it is rather cliche, but it's really Phoebe's mom (the brilliant Felicity Huffman) who connects with Phoebe the most. You'll laugh one moment and cry the next as you take this journey with such an endearing and interesting family. Phoebe befriends a young boy named Jamie who has a lot more theater experience than she does, and wants nothing more than to play not the White Knight, nor the King of Hearts, but rather the Queen of Hearts. This decision leads the other children to call him "homo" and "faggot", which results in the usually wisely reserved Miss Dodger (Clarkson) showing the only anger she shows in the film when she confronts them and challenges their mimicry. Maybe I am mistaken...maybe some older children should be exposed to this film. Not only will they learn how to imagine, but they will also learn how to tolerate differences, and to love a person for who he or she is, despite wanting to go against gender roles and play the Queen of Hearts, or having to wash her hands a certain number of times.

If I am not mistaken, this is Elle Fannings first lead role, and man does she do an amazing job. She's already begun to surpass her sister when it comes to acting chops. I can't wait to see where she goes.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great performances, great film June 20, 2009
Format:DVD
The hype of this film prior to me even getting it in the store was higher than I had anticipated and I am actually having to order twice as many now. After playing it for screening audiences, word of mouth is making the demand even greater.

The Amazon editorial delves plenty deep into all of the characteristics and relationships being played in this film and to what adequacy the acting appeared. I was thoroughly impressed with how everyone filled their roles to where both kids and adults would get something out of this. The visuals of fantasy and reality blurring together were done believably, and the resulting outlooks left with the viewer about adults in a kids world were moving and well written.

Pullman was useless in the film as a father, but he played it perfect, as did Huffman in another obscure mother character role. Fanning proves she has a bright future with how she convinced both kids and adults what she was feeling and seeing in both worlds. The quality of the picture was adequate, and would be a solid case for HD with all of the colors used. The 5.1 gets used more often than one would think for a dialogue and fantasy film, but they stopped short with no special features of any kind.

The two cover art DVDs are exactly the same except for the picture, no content or feature differences (both 100 minutes). For parents that are wondering about the rating, the PG13 does exist due to several gay themed words being used and a couple cuss words. Hope you enjoy.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard to rate this movie December 14, 2009
Format:DVD
This movie is very hard to rate. First off, the trailer I saw completely misrepresented this movie, making it seem like it was a cheerful, light-hearted movie about a young girl who is offbeat, imaginative, and misunderstood. Going into the movie with this expectation threw me off because the movie is not this at all, but it takes a while to reveal what it really is about. Meanwhile, I kept wondering when the lighthearted part was going to start. It is not lighthearted. It is a very serious movie about ...

BEGIN SPOILER

... a young girl, Phoebe, who is developing Tourrette syndrome with some associated OCD behavior. (As an aside, the Tourrette syndrome behavior pictured in this movie is pretty accurate.) She knows something is wrong but she just can't help saying and doing the things she is doing that are causing so much disruption in everyone's lives. Her mother is in denial about the severity of the problem and also blames herself for Phoebe's behavior, thinking she just hasn't been a "good enough" mother.

It doesn't help that Phoebe's been attending a school that is more about rigidity and mindlessly following the rules than it is about preserving the natural creativity all children have before they enter public school. A new drama teacher, played brilliantly by Patricia Clarkson, brings some wisdom into Phoebe's life, but ultimately there is no real happy ending. (There are hints that the teacher has a mild form of Tourrettes herself.) Phoebe has the disease, she isn't going to get better (though she might be able to manage her symptoms with medication), and that's that.

Also, Phoebe sees and talks with characters from Alice in Wonderland. That is never fully explained. Is it her imagination? Is it a different mental symptom?
Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Elle Fanning shines in an odd story June 28, 2009
By Viva
Format:DVD
This is an odd tale of a young girl who turns out to have several OCDs that cause her problems at home and especially at school. Elle Fanning does a fantastic job as Phoebe, who doesn't know why she does these things and wants to stop. Her sister is adorably outspoken, and the kids in the movie are more fun to watch than any of the adults.

Campbell Scott is oddly cast as the principal, while Patricia Clarkson gives her usual strong performance as a drama teacher who is eccentric yet caring. Felicity Huffman and Bill Paxton play some rather strange parents who seem to live a life of the mind as writers but also have a nice house and apparently a nice chunk of income too.

There are also some interesting visual effects that occur when Phoebe imagines herself interacting with the characters from Wonderland.

Worth watching for young Fanning's talent.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
present for my daughter
Published 19 days ago by Kime
5.0 out of 5 stars A trip down the rabbit hole is more than just a fantasy for some...
I really enjoyed this movie. As a grandmother of a little girl with Tourette Syndrome, this movie takes you through all the stages of grief from denial that anything is wrong with... Read more
Published 5 months ago by M. K. McCoy
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing!
I absolutely love this movie! I would highly recommend it to anyone with a love for Alice in Wonderland, or for a love of family drama movies. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Monica C.
5.0 out of 5 stars perfect
elle is excellent,but has a tough act to follow as Dakota's little sis together one day.. hope to see them starring
Published 12 months ago by Gordon McKenzie
2.0 out of 5 stars uninteresting
I picked this because I like Bill Pullman... mistake.
too slow, overacting (not by Bill). Little girl is pretty
but not believable or sympathetic. Clarkson is Aweful.
Published 14 months ago by eloise rosas
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect ammount of drama :)
I like drama movies but not those that try to make you cry out dry. I really loved Elle's acting, it's definitely in the genes. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Damian C. Mora Castro
5.0 out of 5 stars A Perfect Movie
Thourowly thought out and perfectly executed. It is like magic, sprinkel fairy dust and you are a dancer, clap your hands and the "fairies" appear. Read more
Published 19 months ago by J. Morgan
5.0 out of 5 stars Off with her head
By now, you know this is not another rendition of Alice or some x-rated story. However no review can come near to preparing you for what you are about to watch. Read more
Published 19 months ago by bernie
5.0 out of 5 stars Elle is beyond her years
Phoebe in Wonderland is not for children. That being said it shows a child suffering from a disease that is out of their control from the perspective of the child. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Ellalove2Read
4.0 out of 5 stars Phoebe in Wonderland
This movie started out kind of slow but the character development was good. I recommend this to anyone that works with children; especially those with at risk acting-out behaviors. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Sherri Weller
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