I had really, really been wanting to see it. Had been really intrigued by the mixed reviews and really wanted to do some judging for myself. Plus I love to go to the movies by myself and hadn't done that in a long time. Of course I was raised on the children's book by Maurice Sendak but I heard that the film was much darker. Resolved to have no expectations, I bought my ticket, my box of raisinettes, and settled in for an enjoyable afternoon.
First off, at the movie theater in my small town, there is this older man who takes tickets occasionally. And he is a sweet old lascivious old man, a shameless flatterer, a total flirt. It's sweet though. If he were any younger, it would be dirty and disturbing, but instead it just makes a girl feel giggly. It was a nice ego boost. Thanks, old movie theater guy!
Secondly, I get in the theater and it is empty. Hoorah! I love that. I love having my pick of the theater. Except what's that I see at the back of the room? A teeny tiny head with two pom pom pigtails and two big eyes peeking just barely over the seat in front of her. This little girl all by herself is standing alone in the theater, holding a box of popcorn and not sitting because she can't maneuver the seat while holding the box. Poor kid. And what was she doing by herself anyway? That, Internet, is a kidnapper's dream come true. Needless to say, softie that I am, I helped her into her seat and waited with her until her mom got there. Most disturbing moment, when a Twilight promo flashed on the screen, she announced to me that she had seen that! Wasn't it scary, I asked her. Nope. No it wasn't. What? She seemed about 5, if that. Uh huh.
Now it is at this moment that I remember that the film we are about to watch is not really a kid's movie. It's based on a children's book and it's about a child, but it is not for children. Seriosuly, do people not research a film before taking their child?
After the film started, two more families with VERY small children came in. One of which settled right in front of me. Seriously? There is a WHOLE big empty theater and you have to sit your three year old right in front of me? Your young child who screams at the scary parts and says mommy about 57 times a minute? That was your best option?
Despite the young children who were watching a movie that was not meant for children, I truly enjoyed the film. But it is not for kids. I might take an older child, but little kids? Nope. It's dark and emotionally violent. What I absolutely loved was the psychological realism. The film making itself was violent to reflect the turmoil of the characters. Story and acting aside, this film is truly a piece of art. The style at moments is incredibly quiet and reflective and quite beautiful and then next it is raucous and moving and you get sucked into the physicality of the action.
And of course the story is quite poignant and smart. It's extremely psychological and I could see how someone who doesn't appreciate the psychological perspective would not appreciate this film. But I just got lost in it. Despite the magical landscape of the film, the characters are incredibly relatable and realistic, adult in their voices but childlike in their cocoons of issues and neuroses. I absolutely enjoyed it and I can't wait to buy it and make it mine.
And of course, that leaves the best part. The soundtrack was absolutely delicious! I wanted to jump into the soundtrack and start choreographing. I was disappointed to find two different soundtracks available on iTunes from the different collaborators, but I may just have to buy them both.
Here's a great song from the film from Karen O and the Kids:
All is love. I love that. ♥