The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Release year: 2005
Director: Andrew Adamson
Screenwriter: Ann Peacock, Andrew Adamson, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, C.S. Lewis (novel)
Starring: Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, William Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Tilda Swinton, James McAvoy, Liam Neeson (voice)
Ratings: 1 Oscar: Best Makeup. 2 Oscar nominations: Best Sound Mixing, Best Visual Effects.
On a rainy day Lucy (Henley) plays hide and seek with her brothers and sister and hides in a closet. But as she backs toward the back she steps into the snowy landscape of the magical land Narnia.
C.S. Lewis’s beloved tales of Narnia has been adapted before, none as often as The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, which has been adapted both as an animated TV movie in 1979 and as a BBC Tv mini-series in 1988 (you know, the one with the horrid lion puppet), but here it gets the full treatment with a stellar cast, big budget, and state of the art special effects that the story deserves. The result is the stunning, dramatic and gripping story of Lucy, Edmund, Susan and Peter’s adventure in the magical kingdom of Narnia, a kingdom looking as beautiful as any fan of the book could ever have hoped for. All four children are well-casted with British child actors delivering good, and some of them even great, performances while looking every bit as English as aquired, but the true brilliance in casting lies in McAvoy (X-Men: First Class, 2011) who manages to avoid looking ridiculous with goat legs and instead makes his Mr. Tumnus a humble and likeable character and especiallly Swinton (Moonrise Kingdom, 2012) who is a revelation as the white witch, making her version alluringly dangerous and fiercly cold. Her amazing acting talent lends it’s power to the movie and combined with the award winning makeup and lavish costumes, she is a witch that constantly threatens to steal the show and quite frankly succeeds in doing so. With a beautifully crafted CGI lion replacing the infamous puppet lion, and Neeson (Taken, 2008) lending his wonderful voice to the magnificent creature, the majestic Aslan has finally been captured on film in a deserving form. With a war raging between good and evil, this is not a movie for the youngest, but as the dramatic battle scenes are handled with finesse and care, it is movie that can truly entertain both adults and children and a wonderful adaption of C.S. Lewis’s Classic.
Georgie Henley’s reaction to Mr. Tumnus at the lamppost is genuine. She had not seen her cast mate James McAvoy in his costume before the scene was filmed, so her screams and reaction were real. Georgie’s first reaction to the snowy world of Narnia is also genuine – she was carried into the set blindfolded to make her first entrance, and her wide-eyed, delighted reactions to it all entirely her own.
Picture copyright: Disney