Alice in Wonderland (I) (2010)

PG   |    |  Adventure, Family, Fantasy


Alice in Wonderland (2010) Poster

Nineteen-year-old Alice returns to the magical world from her childhood adventure, where she reunites with her old friends and learns of her true destiny: to end the Red Queen's reign of terror.


6.4/10
367,620

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  • Alice in Wonderland (2010)
  • Johnny Depp and Mia Wasikowska in Alice in Wonderland (2010)
  • Alan Rickman at an event for Alice in Wonderland (2010)
  • Matt Lucas in Alice in Wonderland (2010)
  • Johnny Depp and Christopher Lee at an event for Alice in Wonderland (2010)
  • Mia Wasikowska in Alice in Wonderland (2010)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


3 March 2010 | doibhlin
6
| Maybe the formula needs invigorating...
I attended the Cast and Crew screening on Sunday, in Leicester Square, with high hopes for this film as it's without doubt the most exciting job I've had. This was my first feature experience, and working for Tim Burton was a hell of a way to start.

But, even as someone with a lot of time for his films, and a pre-existing bias, I couldn't really connect with this. The cast acquit themselves well, especially considering the noted difficulty in emoting to a tennis ball on a stick, but all their tics and quirks seem to be masking a void at the centre of what should be a free-floating, evocative trip. Sure, it's weird looking, but we've seen it before, and back then in films like Edward Scissorhands it had a sense of purpose. Now we're left exploring a CGI wonderland that seems to be without a great deal of wonder. The book revels in its bizarre environs, absurd dialogue and whimsical characters. This film grounds them, drains them of that mystery and leaves us with a colourful but forgettable retread. It seems intent on driving us to a narrative conclusion that few people will have had much stake in through its running time, simply because we're not giving much to care for.

With a source material so familiar, even to those whose knowledge is second hand references, there needs to be a degree of innovation (as in Svenkmejer's dark stop-motion version, or the co-opting of Terry Gilliam in to his "Tideland" narrative), or else a studious and inspired adaptation that completely returns to Lewis Carroll. What we end up with is a mid-point that fails to get to grips with what enchants people about the Alice story, and another chance to see a beautiful waif walk around twisted, quasi-Gothic landscapes to a score by Danny Elfman.

Not that this isn't an enjoyable experience in itself, and as seen in the vast Screen 1 at the Empire it is at times breathtakingly pretty. It's just inessential, and while it may be unfair to expect a classic from a favoured filmmaker every time out, when they tackle something with the pedigree and history of Alice In Wonderland you can't help but hope for something special. And that's the problem, that Tim Burton, while he is still making decent films, has been a long way off special for some time now.

6/10 (if they gave half stars it'd be 6.5), but that doesn't mean it's a bad film. It's possible that my grade is affected by high expectations and lost potential. If you have kids, I'm sure it'll be better than 90% of the dross that passes for family films now. At least there is some artistry involved, and while he might not be at his best I'll still always pay to see a Tim Burton film (although I got this one for free...)

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite the fact that there have been many other Alice in Wonderland movies, Tim Burton has said he never felt an emotional connection to the story and always thought it was a series of some girl wandering around from one crazy character to another. (In fact, the original books by Lewis Carroll are part of a once-popular fantasy genre in which the character does nothing except wander around from one crazy encounter to another. Those movies which replicated this were being true to the spirit of the original books.) So with this, he attempted to create a framework, an emotional grounding, which he felt he never really had seen in any version before. Tim said that was the challenge for him, to make Alice feel like a story, as opposed to a series of events.


Quotes

Lord Ascot: Charles, you have lost your senses? This picture is impossible.
Charles Kingsleigh: Precisely. Gentlemen, the only way to achieve the impossible, is to believe it's possible.


Goofs

When they are lining up before going into battle and are waiting for Alice to arrive, the reins of the White Queen's horse are hanging down. The shot cuts to the White Queen and Alice talking. When it cuts back to show the horse the reins are over the neck of the horse.


Crazy Credits

In the opening credits the Cheshire Cat can be seen smiling in the form of a cloud overlaying the moon.


Alternate Versions

Also released in a 3D version.


Soundtracks

Grace and Favours
(uncredited)
Music by
Richard Myhill
KPM Music Ltd

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Adventure | Family | Fantasy

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