Monday, November 2, 2009

"Where the Wild Things Are"

I finally saw Where the Wild Things Are yesterday. Though it was a favorite book of mine as a child, I had forgotten how sad the story is. Sure, it ends well, but I didn't expect to get teary-eyed like I did. Spike Jonze directed and co-wrote the screenplay for this adaptation of Maurice Sendak's book.

Max is an ornery and lonely boy who misbehaves one night and ends up biting his mom (played by Catherine Keener) in front of her boyfriend (Mark Ruffalo). He runs away by boat and travels to a far-off land where he meets the "wild things." In order to persuade them not to eat him, he claims that he is a king with special powers. So they make them their king.

Max befriends Carol (voice of Soprano's James Gandolfini). Carol has a bad temper, and he's angry and jealous of KW's friendship with Bob and Terri (two owls whom he can't understand). Max claims that he will keep all of the sadness out. The first order of business for Max is to "let the wild rumpus start." Max has everyone build an elaborate fort. Of course, eventually Max is unable to keep all of the sadness away, so everyone starts to turn on each other.

I kept thinking that the monsters' voices were familiar. Here are a few of the familiar names: Catherine O'Hara as Judith (the mom in Home Alone), Forest Whitaker as Ira (The Last King of Scotland), Paul Dano as Alexander (There Will Be Blood) and Chris Cooper as Douglas (American Beauty).

The film was definitely well done. It's not one that I'll want to see again though.

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