4 of 12 people found the following review helpful
I Hate to Have to Say this, but...,
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Alice in Wonderland (DVD)
... I found this version of Alice almost unwatchable. Previous reviews well capture this version's character, including its truly fatal flaws. Please read them. But I think they are by-and-large far too charitable. I love Carroll's works, so do not take this negative review as a knock on the Alice books; it is purely about this dismal and moribund adaptation.
Note, I write "adaptation." This is not a faithful version of Carroll's "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," nor was meant to be. Fair enough. But wherever there was any mirth or joy in Carroll's book (which is itself slightly dark), producer/director Miller has replaced it with a cringe-worthy combination of sleep-inducing sonambulism on Alice's part, and obscure and pretentious dated social commentary on the part of other characters. It simply doesn't work in America in 2007, and I doubt it worked even in England in 1966.
There *are* bright spots, to be sure, as others have mentioned: Sir Michael Redgrave's Caterpillar, Peter Cook's Hatter, and--for me the best and only not-depressing part of the film--Sir John Gielgud's Mock Turtle. But these cannot make up for what is otherwise a perhaps noble effort, but simply no fun.
As jammer wrote, "The director never seems to get enough of having interminable full-face close-ups of [Alice], whose visage is devoid of expression or reaction and during which, little if anything else happens to advance the rest of the story. (Meanwhile all this precious screen time goes down the tubes when it could have been used so profitably elsewhere! Aarrgggghhhh!) Lewis Carroll, whose whole focus revolved around Alice, must surely have turned over in his grave."
Just so, and, as Alice says, "At any rate, I'll never go *there* again!"
(Note: my nearly three year old daughter is entirely in love with KCRW's radio/CD version of Alice [available for purchase only at kcrw.org, I think], and listens to it over and over. She is surely not the target audience of this disturbing version, but I thought she'd at least want to watch it *once*. She couldn't even make it through a single viewing. It's simply "too dark--too dark altogether.")
Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 2, 2008 3:56:14 PM PDT
Boy, are you ever wrong. And so is "Jammer". Unlike the usual "kiddie" versions we get, this one beautifully captures the disorienting, disturbingly funny tone of the original book. Sorry about your three-year old daughter, but Carroll's work, however it may have been marketed for the last century and a half, has never really been for tiny children. If you really want to blow her mind, show her Jan Svankmajer's ALICE. She'll cry for a week.
Posted on Jun 30, 2015 2:18:23 PM PDT
A. S. Templeton says:
Miller's "Alice" is indeed disorienting and disturbing, but mostly it's boring and full of itself, with not a speck of discernible humor.
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 30, 2015 2:26:12 PM PDT
Franz Metcalf says:
Thanks, A. S. It's nice to a have a bit of positive feedback on my all-time least helpful review (at least according to the Amazon voting). I was actually trying to be balanced in my review. Perhaps, now that my daughter is ten, we could try watching the film again, but you remind me I shouldn't expect too much.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›