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kenmorefield

The Nutcracker and The Four Realms (2018)

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This is getting some push for faith media outlets. The first of these clips focuses on Misty Copeland:

 

The other is on holiday traditions:


For some reason the whole art design here reminded me most of Wrinkle in Time, which wasn't a pleasant association. But I have no previous affinity for The Nutcracker, and I like Keira Knightley, so who knows...seeing the film on Tuesday. 

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I enjoyed this a heck of a lot more than I thought I would. There are some nits to pick...the world-building is not enough to sustain multiple viewings (which is what I think they want), and the actual ballet dancing is blink-and-you-missed it, but...

Keira Knightley is fearless, ferocious, and fun. If she is not my favorite actress working today, I don't know who is. It's a fearless performance in the sense that bombing in a role like this could make one look ridiculous, but she commits fully to it.

The family dynamics are nice. Clara's sister is not a brat and her father not a doofus. Clara is herself interested in mechanics and able to be a hero without being a tomboy. The art design is rich and visually sumptuous.

I was entertained.

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Fantastic to hear that, Ken. I'm a Knightley fan, but rarely go see films because of who's starring in them. I wasn't very interested in this Nutcracker. You may have changed that.

As for go-for-broke Knightley performances, I've gone back-and-forth about her role in A Dangerous Method. Publicly I've lauded the performance and have tussled with critics less friendly toward it. But I've seen the film three times (I think), and I'd be lying if I didn't admit to moments where I thought, "Maybe this is a bit much."

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Oh... wait... that's *Knightley*!? (I read your post yesterday, Ken, and suddenly found myself thinking about it when I saw an ad for the film this morning. I never recognized her during my previous viewings of the trailer. Assuming I have now identified her correctly.)

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I took my boys to see this at the second-run theater tonight - they were interested in it, my older girls weren't - and had a much better time than I'd anticipated. Ken's review had interested me, but not enough to take a chance on a first-run 3D presentation during a screenings lull at the Virginia Film Festival last month. I now regret that choice. The film's production design is one of its stronger points, but it's the supporting actors who bring the film to vivid life. From my just-posted comment on Facebook:

"The main actress isn't great, but the supporting characters are often lively. And Keira Knightley slays in this. I'm admittedly a fan of hers, but she was on-screen for 10 minutes before I even recognized her! I was thinking she'd turn up as another character who kept being mentioned, and then I realized, no, *that's* her! Lots of visually impressive moments. I hesitate to even utter great films in the same breath, but I thought of Powell and Pressburger more than once, and 'Fantasia' and ... well, I'm overselling the movie now. Plenty of stuff to criticize, but I'm inclined to praise what I liked. So few films offer anything in that regard. I regret not seeing this in 3D; I had a chance, but reviews convinced me not to take the risk. Oh well. Glad I got to it on the big screen."

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I'm glad that you saw merit in it, Christian. 

It seems like our film tastes have been coinciding a bit more over the last 2-3 years. 

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Incidentally, I *think* this is the film that got my children complaining about the abundance of "twist villains" in Disney films these days... apparently my daughter and my sister made a bet during the movie as to whether a certain character would turn out to be one, and they were correct...

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It was also weird how this movie kinda rips off the Disney Narnia movies in some ways, from the obviously fake winter-forest to the scene in which the villain says "Nice of you to drop in" when one of the good guys is, uh, dropped...

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19 hours ago, Peter T Chattaway said:

Christian wrote:
: I thought of Powell and Pressburger more than once . . .

Oooooh...

Do I hear an objection? :) If so, I'm sure it's fine - and probably well-earned/deserved.

Ya know, I watched The Red Shoes on Blu-ray last night - I'd bought it during a recent Criterion sale - and was surprised to discover that I'd forgotten long stretches of the film (which I've owned on laserdisc for decades, but haven't seen in probably 9 or 10 years) and that, lo and behold, the stuff I'd forgotten kind of dragged the film down a bit. It's still gorgeous, but I find myself, in my dotage, gravitating to the pure expressionism of the dance/performance sequences here (and not much else) and, more broadly, in The Tales of Hoffman, which I think I'd now say I prefer to The Red Shoes - an admission that would've shocked my 20-something self upon first watching both films (and much preferring The Red Shoes at that time).

Edited by Christian

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