Director: Lasse Hallstrom and Joe Johnston
Writer: Ashleigh Powell
Starring: Keira Knightley, Mackenzie Foy, Eugenio Debez, Matthew Macfadyen, Richard E. Grant, Misty Copeland, Helen Mirren, and Morgan Freeman
Can we please stop with the whole this is not your father’s (insert public domain title here) thing? I do not think that this approach has created anything worthwhile. I do not mean when you change the setting of a story; I am talking about when they completely change the material because say, Disney wants to turn “The Nutcracker” into Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” — which was an attempt to turn “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” into an epic fantasy akin to “Lord of the Rings.”
I get that the material is in the public domain and everybody would know the said material, and therefore you have to find a unique spin to put on to it. But here is the thing, you can make it unique without drastically changing the material. Well, at least without slapping the brand onto a script that could have easily been its own unique movie.
“The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” was a lovely movie to look at. The costume and production design, the hair and makeup, and the visuals were beautiful and fantastic; but the movie was awful. The lead lacked charisma, and the narrative was too convoluted for a Christmas movie aimed at children.
Honestly, I would rather watch the ballet because at least that contains art and fantastic music by Tchaikovsky. At least like “Sleeping Beauty” this movie retains some of Tchaikovsky’s music.