Thursday, November 4, 2010


By D.E.Levine

Director: Andrey Konchalovskiy
Writer: Andrey Konchalovskiy and Cris Solimine (screenplay)
Cast: Elle Fanning, Nathan Lane, John Turturro, Frances de la Tour, Richard E. Grant, Yulia Visotskaya, Yuliya Vysotskaya, Shirley Henderson, Aaron Michael Drozin, Charlie Rowe, Peter Elliott, Daniel Peacock, Alan Cox, Hugh Sachs, Africa Nile, Gyorgy Honti et al.
Producers: Andrey Konchalovskiy and Paul Lowin
Executive Producer: Moritz Borman
Co-producers: Jozsef Cirko and Meg Clark
Line Producer: Laura Julian
Original Music: Eduard Artemiev
Running Time: 110 Minutes
Country of Origin: United States
Language: English
Genre: Fantasy

This version of the classic tale of The Nutcracker is in 3D and takes certain liberties with the story.

In this version kindly Uncle Albert (who bears a striking resemblance to Albert Einstein) visits his family in Vienna and brings his niece and nephew a wonderful, magical dollhouse with inhabitants, and a nutcracker.

As Christmas falls the nutcracker comes to life and whisks Mary (the niece) away to a place where all Christmas gifts come to life.

It's breathtaking and it's in 3D.

Unfortunately, the villain here is the malevolent Rat King and his mother who are planning to claim the special kingdom for themselves.

There are some horrifying and scary sequences that bring reminiscences of Nazi Germany, both by the storm trooper rats in military uniform and formation, and the bonfire burning of the toys (i.e. books in Nazi Germany).

So the beautiful, wondrous kingdom isn't totally beautiful and wonderful.

Additionally, it turns out that just as in the original tale, the Nutcracker is actually the kingdom's prince who has had an evil spell put on him.

After the Rat King and his mom kidnap the Nutcracker, Mary and the other toys combine their efforts to rescue him and the kingdom by defeating the Rat King.

To do so, they have to discover the Rat King's one true weakness and then strike their blow when he least expects it.