Tricky ven­ture a ter­rific treat

David Stratton

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Film -

start re­flect­ing real life, with char­ac­ters from the sto­ries looking just like Skeeter’s friends and en­e­mies. Fur­ther­more, when the chil­dren con­trib­ute to the sto­ries with ideas for the char­ac­ters, th­ese al­ter­ations are re­flected in real life the fol­low­ing day. Di­rec­tor Adam Shankman, who proved with that he was ca­pa­ble of suc­ceed­ing with a slick, old-fash­ioned en­ter­tain­ment, seems con­strained here by the need to com­bine a San­dler ve­hi­cle and an elab­o­rate Christ­mas en­ter­tain­ment. There are mo­ments when the film has the po­ten­tial to be re­ally charm­ing ( like Dis­ney’s re­cent ) but, in the end, it all falls rather flat. Of the cast, it’s left to Pearce to ham it up as the hor­rid Ken­dall, some­thing he does with rel­ish.

Bat­tle of wits: Fore­ground, from left, Toby Jones as agent Swifty Lazar, Michael Sheen as David Frost and Frank Langella as Richard Nixon in Frost/ Nixon

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