Monday, August 04, 2008


Penelope starring Christina Ricci made its way to the top of my Netflix queue weekend, and I'm glad it did. This modern-day fairy tale was practically perfect--witty, charming, playful, with a decent moral (one you can see coming miles away--I guessed at the moral five minutes into it, and was almost right).

Great acting all-around: in the interest of full disclosure, Ricci stole my heart as Wednesday Addams, and hasn't let go yet--but I think I'd have been won over by her performance regardless; James McAvoy was as solid as always; Catherine O'Hara was lights-out great; Richard E. Grant gave the subtlest and best performance I've seen him in (am so used to seeing him play cartoony characters I spent the entire film debating whether it was him or not); Peter Dinklage (who I can't seem to go a month without seeing lately) was at his best (which is saying something); Reese Witherspoon shocked me (not just because she weighs about the same as my 8 yr old).

The only problem with the movie (not unlike, say, The Truth about Cats and Dogs) is that Penelope was too cute. Sure, her nose was plenty strange--and supposedly under all that hair, so were her ears--but she wasn't that hideous. The reactions of those who were initially exposed to her deserved something more grotesque. She was supposed to be (at least somewhat) hideous...but really, just odd looking--mildly attractive, really. Nothing to jump out of a second-story window running from.