THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS (PG)

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Gold Coast Eye - - MOVIES -

DRIFT­ING INTO OTHER WORLDS WHILE SCRATCH­ING ITS BAL­LET, US, 99 MIN

Yes, this is in­deed the same Nutcracker made fa­mous by many a bal­let com­pany. How­ever, aside from a few (ad­mit­tedly glo­ri­ous) dance se­quences, toes will not be twin­kling and tu­tus will not be twirling in this live-ac­tion reimag­i­na­tion of the Nutcracker fable from Dis­ney. The set­ting 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 stand­outs 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. A nice enough fam­ily film, but per­haps not as mem­o­rable as it might have been.

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