Christmas classic gets a reboot
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, Rated PG Stars Mackenzie Foy, Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman, Richard E. Grant Director Lasse Hallstrom Review by Leigh Paatsch
Yes, this is indeed the same Nutcracker made famous by many a ballet company, with a stellar WA Ballet production now showing at His Majesty’s Theatre.
However, aside from a few (admittedly glorious) dance sequences, toes will not be twinkling and tutus will not be twirling in this live-action re-imagination of The Nutcracker fable from Disney.
The setting laid out by The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is Victorian-era London, where a bright young girl named Clara (Mackenzie Foy) is looking for a key to unlock an ornate gift left by her late mother. Clara’s search takes her through a Narnia-like portal to not one, but four alternate dimensions: the lands of Flowers, Snowflakes, Sweets and Amusements.
Each mysterious realm is reigned over by a colourful regent, the stand-outs of which are Keira Knightley as the delightfully knowing Sugar Plum Fairy, and Helen Mirren as the archly intimidating Mother Ginger.
While the movie is beautiful to look at, its energy levels in sustaining viewer interest in Clara’s adventures can fluctuate markedly.
There were reportedly creative problems during shooting, which perhaps affected the final outcome.
Indeed, there are periods during which the whole experience feels as if it is cruising on autopilot.
A nice enough family film, but perhaps not as memorable as it might have been.
Keira Knightley and Mackenzie Foy in The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.