All Clara wants is a key that will open a mysterious parcel she has received from her late mother, her quest to find it will lead her to a magical world via her Godfather that includes Mice and toy soldiers and plenty of adventure
Lasse Hallstrom with Joe Johnston
Ashleigh Powell for screenplay suggested from the short story by E.T.A. Hoffman called The Nutcracker and the Mouse King as well as the Nutcracker Ballet by Marius Petipa
Mackenzie Foy; Morgan Freeman; Helen Mirren; Keira Knightley; Matthew Macfayden; Richard E Grant; Eugenio Derbez; Jayden Fowora-Knight; Misty Copeland; Jack Whitehall and Omid Djalli
The BMAF Review:
A quiet week at the cinema, in part due to our poor Cineworld schedule which seems to show less films during the day than ever meant we gave The Nutcracker and the Four Realms a chance. We quickly read the short story (it’s quite cheap for Kindle, we found it at Amazon here) and went in with hopes that being Disney it should be spectacular.
What we saw was a poor attempt to capture films from the studio such as The Chronicles of Narnia and Alice in Wonderland.
The story follows Clara, a child from a family that has just been torn apart by the loss of their mother.
The mother, before she died, left presents to her children and Clara’s gift is an egg-shaped box with a message that inside it has all she ever will need is inside, but no key to get past the lock inside.
Her godfather then sends Clara to find her Christmas gift from him, which takes her to a parallel world, where she has also found the key she needs, but before she can take it a mouse steals it.
This will take her on a quest to get it back and with the help of Captain Hoffman who she meets on her journey. With him, she meets the leaders from Three realms, who are at war with the fourth led by Mother Ginger.
Clara, hearing this story from Sugar Plum, vows to help as well as get her key back of course. Can she restore peace to the realms and get her key back is a quest we are invited to take on, in this film.
Well, you can probably guess the outcome, but the journey is at times a long and tiresome one. The film looks beautiful but feels more like a matinee film to watch in the festive period than a blockbuster movie. Some beautiful sets are enhanced by ballet recitals and in the fourth realm, some great circus performers but these exciting set pieces are few and far between.
Whitehall and Djalli add some comedy to the film but are vastly underused; a Mouse is particularly cute and a moving creature of all the mice in the realm is also a great CGI creature.
Of the 4 Realms, the film only really concentrates on Helen Mirren as Mother Ginger, who is great and sadly Keira Knightley, who we found incredibly annoying as the squeaky-voiced Sugar Plum. Foy makes a good lead but overall there are better films of this nature and this is one that maybe is best waited for at home.
The BMAF Rating:
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