Madeline/Matilda [VHS]

ISBN 13: 9780767836791

Madeline/Matilda [VHS]

 
9780767836791: Madeline/Matilda [VHS]
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Review:

Madeline The schoolgirl adventures of Madeline, a flame-haired orphan, are lovingly adapted from Ludwig Bemelmans's classic children's books. His sly and witty writing is transferred to this first-rate film, one that should not be thought of merely as childhood entertainment. Spunky Madeline is most adept at finding trouble. She is also a quick-witted and likable child who can solve almost any problem. Her latest scheme is to keep her school, which is also her home, from being sold by its owner, the recently widowed Lord Covington (Nigel Hawthorne). Unlike most youthful movie fare, this adventure boasts high production values that wisely include colorful Parisian locations. Hatty Jones is all spunky self-sufficiency and sweet innocence in the title role, and Frances McDormand is quite humorous as the stern school-mistress, Miss Clavel. --Rochelle O'Gorman

Matilda:

Danny DeVito's adaptation of the Roald Dahl book for children is mostly just fine, helped along quite a bit by the charming performance of Mara Wilson (Mrs. Doubtfire) as young Matilda, a brilliant girl neglected by her stupid, self-involved parents (DeVito and Rhea Perlman). Ignored at home, Matilda escapes into a world of reading, exercising her mind so much she develops telekinetic powers. Good thing, too: sent off to a school headed by a cruel principal, Matilda needs all the help she can get. DeVito takes a highly stylized approach that is sometimes reminiscent of Barry Sonnenfeld (director of Get Shorty, a DeVito production), and his judgment is not the best in some matters, such as letting the comic-scary sequences involving the principal go on too long. But much of the film is delightful and funny. --Tom Keogh

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