THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS (PG)
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.