CORALINE (2009)

Jenny nagged me into going to see this as a preview yesterday. Written by Neil Gammon (Jenny is a huge fan) - I expected it to be a little on the creepy side. I was looking forward to seeing Ian McShane, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French and Dakota Fanning. It wasn't until the opening shot when a car pulled up outside the Pink Apartments that I realised it was animated. It's a PG and wasn't as creepy as I expected it to be.

The story borrows heavily from old fairy tales, the wicked witchy type person stealing children. But whereas the children are usually meek and mild mannered, Coraline is a confident, sassy little lass and there are a few original elements to make the story more interesting. The animation and scenery was wonderful throughout - and when she enters into the parallel world for the first time there is a real sense of it being a magical place. Comedy comes in the form of French & Saunders who play two aging 'actresses' one extremely outrageous and their animated characters give a hilarious show in their apartment which has mysteriously transformed into the Buxton Opera House.

Enchanting and enjoyable.

 

INTO THE WILD
2007

I happened upon this film through a blog I read about the soundtrack. Original songs by Eddie Vedder which came highly recommended. I'm not much of a fan of Pearl Jam but the film's synopsis caught my eye and I managed to find a reasonably priced copy on ebay.

Disillusioned with his parent's and their lifestyle, Christoper McCandless, a top university graduate, cuts up his credit cards, donates his savings of $24,000 to Oxfam and heads out on the open road. He's heading for Alaska and self-fulfilment.

His journey brings him into contact with various characters who refine his idealistic thoughts and whose lives he, in turn, touches.

It's a very moving account of a person looking for meaning outside of society's norms and all the more pogniant because it's based on a true story.

Surprise of the film was Christopher dueting with hippy singer Tracy on my favouite Bonnie Raitt cover 'Angel of Montgomery'.

 

MISS POTTER
2006

This was bought as a third choice in a Sainsbury's 'buy 3 for £20' offer. It had been sat on the shelf for about 6 months before Becky announced last night that she would like us to watch it together.

I wasn't expecting very much, although I remember the delight of recounting tales of Jemmima Puddle Duck and Peter Rabbit to my daughters when they were little.

What a wonderful story it turned out to be and what an enchanting person Beatrix must have been. Her childlike innocence belied a will of steel which stood her in good stead not least in her dealings with her mother, during her impending marriage to her publisher, and his untimely death.

It was a delight to find her snatching from under the noses of property developers, farms in the Lake District whose owners could no longer run them. She subsequently bequeathed them to the British Public on her death.

What a fantastic person and what wonderful things she did.

Surprise of the film was Ewan McGregor playing her suitor Norman Warne.

 

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