Allow your fears to be alleviated - those concerned about Tim Burton's increasingly indulgent direction can ease back into their seats; Alice in Wonderland does not fall to the same pretension of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It's not a vanity project or a hollow reboot. Alice in Wonderland is a lovingly filmed and meticulously crafted interpretation of Lewis Carroll's treasured tale, rife with fantasy, coated in gothic iconography and presented by a superb cast who nail their characters' portraits utterly.
At heart a tale of empowerment, Alice (Australian newcomer Mia Wasikowska) is haunted by the anxieties of her father's passing. Set upon by her aristocratic family, she is set to be engaged but takes a tumble down the fated rabbit hole. And so the adventure begins; a brisk and massive production that borrows heavily from Carroll's darker, more realistic and often bleak illustrations and character designs. Indeed, this is rich soil for Burton, whose design ethic often sidles up nicely with the twisted and impossible vistas of 'Underland'.
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