THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS

Empire (UK) - - ON.SCREEN - HOH

★★★

PG / 99 MINS / OUT 2 NOVEM­BER DI­REC­TORS Lasse Hall­ström,

Joe John­ston

CAST Macken­zie Foy, Keira Knight­ley, Jay­den Fowora-knight, He­len Mir­ren, Matthew Mac­fadyen, Morgan Free­man

HERE’S A FILM for the lit­tle princess in­side us all. Hap­pily, un­der­neath its glit­ter and sparkle, there’s a sur­pris­ingly co­her­ent story. Our hero­ine Clara (Foy) is mourn­ing her mother when she stum­bles into a fan­tasy world. There, she’s drawn into a con­flict be­tween the ter­ri­fy­ing Mother Gin­ger (Mir­ren) and Sugar Plum (Knight­ley), with plucky nutcracker Phillip (Fowora-knight) to help. The plot’s suf­fered ma­jor changes — note the two cred­ited di­rec­tors — but it ef­fec­tively ad­dresses grief, and when it sticks to that theme the solid cast and fun vil­lain make it work. Those with a sweet tooth will love it.

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