Monday, May 26, 2008

Lost its compass (Film - The Golden Compass)

I loved Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy - such complex and imaginative books. Stars abound in this obviously expensive Harry Potter wannabe (wants to be the film, that is). The script is hollow and tries to cram way to much material into too brief a format. There is no time for the rich development of ideas that distinguish the novels. The most basic elements of the fantasy world necessary are dispensed with in voice over narration as efficiently as they can be. With the exception of Lyra, the young heroine of the book, whose rashness and anger is captured decently by Dakota Fanning Blue Richards (thanks, Eva), it seems like no gesture is even made toward developing Pullman's characters, they're not even archetypes, just stick figures. The only one able to pull it out of somewhere is Derek Jacobi. His two brief scenes were singular for the imagination he brought them. Nicole Kidman was particularly lifeless and phoney. Although The Others showed her to marvelous effect, I've never seen anything else from her I would characterize as a good performance. Here she seems loath to so much as admit this woman can breathe. Her work is wooden and shallow, she can't even pull off the fun blockbuster affects of her cohorts - you know, all the rich rumbling voice work and dark looks from under heavy brows. Her perfume commercials have more character development. Peeeuuuww, what a stinker - and to be adapted from such great books!


Eva said...

I love the books too, which is why I will never, ever see this movie. lol But Dakota Fanning didn't play was a newly discovered young actress. Her name's Dakota too, which is weird to me!

Ted said...

Eva - Oops! Thanks - some precocious Dakota.