Where the Wild Things Are is the newest movie by Spike Jonze based on the book by Maurice Sendak. The movie was written by Jonze and Dave Eggers and stars Max Records, Catherine Keener, James Gandolfini, Paul Dano, Catherine O’Hara, Forest Whitaker, Chris Cooper, Lauren Ambrose and Mark Ruffalo.
Max (Max Records) is a lonely child full with fantastic [in the original sense] ideas. One day, after getting into a fight with his mother (Catherine Keener), Max runs from the house in a frenzy. He stumbles upon a boat which takes him to a land inhabitated by huge monsters. After they threaten to eat him, Max becomes their king and befriends them, especially Carol (James Gandolfini). But all is not well there, either.
Where the Wild Things Are is perfect. The look, the feel, the script, the actors, the music… it’s absolutley wonderful. The only caveat: They shifted the target demographic from preschooler to anyone older than ten.
[If that wasn’t warning enough, there’s going to be some serious gushage in this post.]
I had really high expectations for this movie and I was almost afraid to watch it because I thought that no movie could live up to these expectations and that I would leave the cinema and be sorely disappointed, has happens so often. Except that in this case, I didn’t. In fact, the movie gave me even more than I had hoped for.
The design of the monsters and of their world was completely amazing. The way they totally look like in the book, just real. And the fort they build and all those little things… They were just wonderfully done.
Also, whoever designed Max’ wolf costume should get prizes just for that alone.
The direction and the cinematography were beautiful. Wonderful shots wherever and whenever you looked. Paired with the film music, it was worth to watch this movie just for that alone.
And the cast was pitch-perfect.* Hardly surprising when you look at it. But especially Max Records blew my mind. That somebody so young can give such a layered, sensitive performance… I mean, he wields more emotional clout and uses more facial expressions in a single film than many other actors in a lifetime.
But probably the best thing about it was Dave Eggers’ script. I can’t wait to read the accompanying book. [Mass market paperback, where are you? GNAH! I just discovered that it won’t come out till June… Do I wait that long?] The way he seamlessly extends Sendak’s storyline without actually adding much to it, just going into more depth… Re-spect.
This movie is perfection. Nothing else to say about it. So, go and watch it.
*I was just a little disappointed that Seth Green didn’t play Alexander (the goat) because I thought they totally looked alike.