The book is one of my all time favorites. But adapting such a short book into a feature length film might have been too ambitious a task. Then again, I respect the attempt. And while the film doesn't even come close to what I was hoping for, it definitely has its moments. It looks fantastic of course. And the tone is an intriguing one. Sad yet incredibly bizarre at times. And when lines from the book are uttered or when Max first puts on his wolf costume, my 4-year-old self got very excited.
But SHR and I couldn't put our finger on what it was that was missing from this. But Sean and Rebecca nailed it - there's no sense of joy in this movie ever. Yes, Jonze taps into the loneliness and anger that Max feels. Yes, childhood can be tough. But there's also a hell of a lot of joy as well. Everything was so sad the entire time. Even the supposedly fun parts didn't feel that fun. I am fine with the overall melancholy of this film but a bit of unadulterated happiness would have gone a long way. The superior Coraline was a lot more successful in tapping into the melancholy and joy of childhood than this film did.
For some reason, I also would have liked a narrator at times as well. Maybe just at the beginning and end when he was in the boat?
Still I'm glad that I saw this. There are completely original moments that will add to my thoughts of the book in the years to come as I read it to my boys. I love the fort they were building. I loved the big pile they slept in. There were definite moments of magic in this but I wanted an entire movie of magic. That might have been asking for too much.
Directed by Spike Jonze
Cobble Hill Cinemas
Phillies 9 Mets 4
1 week ago