• Post category:Movies
  • Post last modified:August 18, 2020

Where the Wild Things Are

THERE’S ONE IN ALL OF US.¬†

Lonely 9-year-old Max (Max Records) runs away from home and ends up in a place far away where the wild things are… and they declare Max their king. An adaptation of the beloved children’s story that takes itself seriously and comes very close to capturing (and reminding older audiences of) a child’s curious connection to the wonders and beauties of the forest. Spike Jonze has wisely chosen not to make the movie animated but have the wild things played by actors in furry costumes with CGI faces; coupled with the engaging voice work, the effect is very charming. Sounds clich√©d to call this a celebration of the power of imagination… but it’s a true original.

2009-U.S. 101 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by¬†Tom Hanks, Maurice Sendak, Gary Goetzman, John B. Carls, Vincent Landay. Directed by¬†Spike Jonze. Screenplay: Spike Jonze, Dave Eggers. Book: Maurice Sendak. Cinematography: Lance Acord. Songs: Karen Orzolek. Cast: Max Records (Max), Catherine Keener (Mom), Mark Ruffalo (The Boyfriend). Voices of James Gandolfini (Carol), Lauren Ambrose (KW), Forest Whitaker, Catherine O’Hara, Chris Cooper.

Trivia: Maurice Sendak reportedly asked Jonze himself to make the movie. The project began in 2005 and caused some friction between the studio and Jonze at certain points. The story was previously filmed in 1973 as an animated short.

Last word: “I think the initial idea was, as I started thinking about [the book]¬†and thinking about what I’d add to it ‚Äď any sort of external plot felt really contrived; anything I was going to put onto it. And so I kept, for that reason, I kept saying, ‘I can’t do this,’ and Maurice and I talked about it a few times over the years and the idea that finally struck me was: ‘Who are the Wild Things?’ And once we met Max and he gets to the island ‚Äď because it could’ve been anything. It’s like adapting a poem ‚Äď this very, sort of, impressionistic, evocative poem.” (Jonze, First Showing)

 

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