Freddie Highmore (Finding Neverland) plays Charlie Bucket, a poor little boy who lives in a strange crooked home with his mother (Helena Bonham Carter), father (Noah Taylor) and four grandparents.
The big wonderful chocolate factory has been closed by Willie Wonka - played by Johnny Depp in what can only be described as garish makeup. The factory has been shut for years, but Wonka is going to open it for five lucky winners to tour.
To win one must find a golden ticket hidden inside a Wonka chocolate bar, which will entitle the holder to a magical tour inside the opulent tasty factory. It's a chance of a lifetime and earnest little Charlie is one of the winners, along with four other kids.
Charlie shows up with his grandpa (David Kelly - Waking Ned Devine) and he can hardly believe his eyes, with candy landscapes, gumdrop trees and chocolate flowing everywhere, it's a sight to behold.
Only one of the five young winners will receive a special prize, and since everyone but Charlie has behavior problems, good little Charlie appears to be the obvious choice.
Even though there are some frightening consequences to some of the visitors, there are some pretty terrific song and dance sequences all in perfect step by the Oompa Loompas (all played by Deep Roy) - identical workers at the factory.
Once past the shock of Depp's creepy appearance, the film has a great deal to offer. Freddie Highmore is delightful, he never seems to be acting, and comes off as a sweet, sincere little boy, and the music and sets are unbelievable. The factory is a feast for the senses, it's a Candyland game come to life.
However, Depp, with top had, lipstick red lips, pasty white face and strange wide-eyed glaze, is sometimes just too difficult to ignore.