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"You need to be mad as a hatter…which luckily I am."

10/03/2010



After months of waiting, I finally got to see Tim Burton’s new adaptation of Alice in Wonderland when it opened last Friday. (Get tickets without the wait at Fandango.) Though we saw it in 2D, I highly recommend that you have the 3D experience as well — more to follow on that when I get the chance!

Australian ingenue Mia Wasikowska shines and inspires as 19-year-old Alice Kingsley, who falls back down the rabbit hole and into a “Wonderland” that is strange and familiarall at once. Old friends become new guides in her quest to wake up from a dream that is suddenly too real, and through her journey Alice learns an important lesson not only about where she is, but who she is.

Tim Burton, as usual, does not disappoint. His Wonderland is a beautiful and twisted place brought to life with the latest cinematic technology — after watching it, you may just want to go there yourself. Unlike the original Disney treatment, Burton’s Alice is more faithful to the original Lewis Carroll books and reintroduces some central characters that may be unfamiliar to fans of the animated version. As with the 2005 remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Burton has taken the lens and revealed a world that is darker and ultimately more real than the fantasies created by their predecessors.
Of course, this would not be possible without a stunning line-up of talent: Johnny Depp once again proves his aptitude for lending depth to difficult roles with his portrayal of a Mad Hatter who is something of a mix between Braveheart and totally bonkers. I spent most of the movie trying to make sense of things he said, which is probably the best compliment I can give. His interactions with Wasikowska were at once amusing and touching. 
Helena Bonham Carter (Mrs. Tim Burton, for the 2 people in the world who don’t know) is perfectly impetuous as the Red Queen whose infamous temper is a poor disguise for her own shortcomings. And Anne Hathaway’s White Queen is wise, regal, and outrageously saccharine — you may need to shield your eyes from all the white in both the scenery and her personality. The supporting cast is equally delightful (I have a special place in my heart for Alan Rickman’s Absolem), with the possible exception of Crispin Glover’s Red Knave — I have to agree with others, I don’t really feel like he’s acting…
Movie prices may be out of control, and you’re crazy if you even think of shopping the concession stand, but with Alice in Wonderland you will definitely get your money’s worth. Don’t miss out, or you may lose your “muchness”.
Rating: A+
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