Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Talk About Your Childhood Wishes

Some of my many favorite Charlie & the Chocolate Factory things:

1) Any of the scenes set in the Bucket household.
2) Willy Wonka screaming, "Mumbler!" at Mike Teavee in the Television Room.
3) Attack of the squirrels!
4) "Good morning starshine."
5) Willy Wonka's use of cue cards, a bit of schtick that I found really so very touching.
6) Every Danny Elfman ditty (with lyrics penned by Roald Dahl) and the Oompa-Loompa choreography.
7) The great glass elevator.
8) Grandpa Joe.
9) The puppet hospital and burn center.

I read a review that said Johnny Depp's performance felt like some sort of extended actor's exercise, but I was so taken by it. How do you play a childlike character who loathes children? It's such a contrary impulse; kids are crazy about each other because they're the only ones who "get" each other. Anyhoots, I love this movie. Obviously.

And does anyone else who's seen it think that the "look" of the young players was inspired by these Loretta Lux photographs?


weez said...

I had a hard time with it. I really wanted to like the movie, and it had fabulous elements. Burton makes great visual candy. But I had a hard time getting Johnmy Depp as Wonka...overly in love with Gene Wilder who played wonka as a brilliant madman but whom I could still feel for. Depp's Wonka was so distant.

But, I think I'd be willing to give it another go.

ver said...

Interesting, interesting. I'm deeply attached to the original, too, but I dunno...Johnny's (that's what I call him: "Johnny") portrayal really got to me, probably because he played Willy as a functioning lunatic unable to form healthy attachments to other people. I thought he was heartbreaking.

Gene Wilder's Willy is more just...disenchanted. Which was great, but not nearly as risky. In the end, he was quite lovable and it makes you all warm and gooey and chocolate-melty inside.

The part at the end in the new one, where Willy says, "But I think you're really on to something, Charlie"? I was so ridiculously moved by that. Maybe I'm the funcitoning lunatic?!!!

barbara jane said...

hey ver! so for me, what was especially interesting abt. johnny depp's wonka was that, while he was apparently sociopathic (?), as you say, unable to form healthy attachments with others, he was ultimately capable. and this is where charlie (and the whole buckett family) comes in.

burton tied it up all very neatly (too neatly?), tho i think it was pretty satisfying, this something like redemption.

hm. still, his disaffectedness has this honesty about it, not dissimilar from the honesty of charlie's grandparents, neither being censored or bridled by social rules.

ver said...

Yes, I forgot to mention that, like you say, the Buckets "redeem" him! So I thought, too, that it was interesting because unlike the original, where W.W. becomes a sort of surrogate for the missing Mr. Bucket, here Charlie's family is intact and so W.W. can approach him as a peer. How funny was W.W.'s speech about family not being "conducive to a creative environment"?! LOL!!!

And another favorite quote (from Mike Teavee):

"Why is everything here so pointless?"