Monday, October 05, 2009

A couple of Alices...

One thing I did accomplish this weekend was watching a couple Alice in Wonderland DVDs. I haven't rented movies in FOREVER but I wandered the aisles and found a couple I hoped would be inspiring. First was the 1985 Alice in Wonderland live-action star-studded event:

I know some people hold this version near and dear to their hearts, but I found it kind of annoying. The sound was fuzzy in my copy (probably just a defect in the DVD, I can't imagine they're all like that) and it looked very dated and un-magical. The musical numbers seemed forced and awkward, and the slapped on ending with the looking glass/Jabberwocky was just strange and disconnected. It was worth seeing, however - their bird costumes were GORGEOUS, and the pig-baby scene is fun, I like the frog messenger.

The other Wonderland-themed movie I picked up I actually purchased - they didn't seem to have it to rent, and since it's so expensive to rent movies now it wasn't much of a leap to just buy a pre-viewed copy - was Phoebe in Wonderland. It stars Elle Fanning (Dakota's little sister) as a normally functional child of two artsy writer parents who slowly falls deeper and deeper into OCD and Tourrets Syndrome. Phoebe is obsessed with Wonderland and finds some relief in the school production, but Wonderland is just the background and a mirror for her madness. Her parents struggle with not wanting to label or medicate her for "normal childhood things" but slowly come to realize Phoebe's obsessions and behavior is far from normal. It's kind of a sad movie, one of the most heartbreaking scenes I've ever seen takes place when Phoebe's mother discovers her daughter has washed her hands until they bleed and scraped all the skin off her knees jumping on only every 3rd stair...she asks her daughter why she did those things and poor Phoebe just cries "I don't know why, I want YOU to know why." It was well made, maybe a bit slow, and not extremely uplifting, but worth watching. Phoebe sees Wonderland characters in her dillusions, and the school play shows some interesting takes on Wonderland costumes.

1 comment:

Carin said...

ooooh. I watched the live action Alice in the peach dress right after I got the invite. (for inspiration also)
I remember it being cool, and a little scary with the jabberwocky...
I must have not seen very many cool movies when I was little.

I think I need to see the disney version again. (still need inspiration)