Corpse Bride

Corpse Bride

Film review by: Witney Seibold

 

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            Well, I know what every dejected teenage Goth girl is going to go as for Halloween this year…

            Tim Burton’s newest film is his second this year, his first animated film since 1992’s The Nightmare Before Christmas (actually directed by Henry Selick), a film I have been duly obsessed with, and his first original film since the same. It is a technical marvel, with visuals to rival any animated film. It is a testament to the Goth style, a well-crafted fable, and loaded with Burton’s usual creepy, peculiar whimsy. It’s also oddly compact; it’s only 77 minutes, tells a story that spans a mere few days, and involves only five or six major characters. It’s still great, and, after much anticipation, I was not let down.

            Victor Van Dort (Johnny Depp), son of classless “new money”, is betrothed to Victoria Everglot (Emily Waton), daughter of classy-but-broke lords. He is nervous, but luckily falls for Victoria upon meeting her. After blowing the wedding rehearsal, however, he flees into the woods to practice. He gives his vows, in jest, to the skeletal hand of Emily (Helena Bonham Carter) who rises from the grave and spirits him off to the spirit world to have a happy-ever-eternity. He must escape, and return to his intended! Albert Finney, Richard E. Grant, Joanna Lumley, Tracey Ullmann, and Christopher Lee appear. Er, are heard.

 

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            All the Burton elements are in place: his cast, his Addams Family crayon box palate, his dancing skeletons, his collaboration with Danny Elfman (who wrote the songs and plays a raspy cabaret performer named Bonejangles), and his dejected Goth architecture. It’s nice to have it back. I’ve been missing it. After seeing any number of teenagers touting the sullen Goth mantle, it’s nice to see Burton, a fortysomething, saying it like he means it. A Gothic fable from someone with a Gothic heart. It is great? Perhaps repeat viewings will prove it so. It is, however, a very good film, and Tim Burton at the top of his game.

-September 24th, Warmer Bros.

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Published in: on January 30, 2009 at 1:57 am  Leave a Comment  

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