Based on a 1816 short story by E.T.A. Hoffmann, this version stars Mackenzie Foy as Clare.
At a Christmas ball, Clare goes into her godfather’s (Morgan Freeman) laboratory where he gives her a gift that her deceased mother left her.
It’s a silver egg with a key to a magical place. Clare is a brave, smart girl with an interest in science and she fearlessly heads toward an adventure that’s both beautiful and scary.
She passes through a snow covered land and enters a strange realm where she encounters the Mouse King. It’s a huge creature made up of hundreds of squirming mice. I’ve got to admit that the sight of it, creeped me out.
Helen Mirren has a small role as Mother Ginger. She has a face like an old forgotten doll, faded and cracked. Keira Knightly is the Sugar Plum Fairy. She has purple cotton candy-like hair and a voice that resembles Betty Boop, especially when she summons the toy soldiers in a sexy, come hither tone.
Directors Lasse Hallström and Joe Johnston have delivered a mixed bag. The visuals are terrific – I loved the scene of the Christmas Ball and the majesty of the frozen realm. However, sorely missed was the romance of the story and the spectacle of the ballet.
Although Misty Copeland and partner dazzle during their dance in the middle of the film and again during the closing credits, it was not enough to satisfy.