Feb 21, 2008

Movie Reviw: Penelope (2008)

Poor Penelope. Her mother wants to marry her off but men aren't so much throwing themselves at her, as out of the nearest window. Born to aristocratic parents, the young Penelope (Christina Ricci) is stricken by a family curse that has left her, rather unfortunately, sporting a pig's snout for a nose. Only if she weds a fellow 'blue blood' can the curse be broken. Decent performances from a big name cast ensure this family fairytale is mildly entertaining fare, but it just isn't meaty enough to make a big squeal at the box office.

Having grown up in the confines of the family mansion, Penelope is desperate to escape from her protective parents (Catherine O'Hara, Richard E Grant) and experience the "outside world". But with money-making snappers (The Station Agent's Peter Dinklage) on the prowl she faces being made a laughing stock when all she wants is to live a normal life. The problem is that Ricci just isn't convincingly scary enough - she looks more like she's had a botched nose job as opposed to a walking advertisement for the grotesque.


While the plot itself appears to have been cursed with some scenes stretched to breaking point, the theme of self-acceptance is sensitively played out and Penelope's predictable 'beauty is only skin deep' moment of realisation strikes a touching chord. But it's James McAvoy's irrepressible on-screen charm as likeable rogue/suitor Max, alongside welcome cameos from Nick Frost and Russell Brand, that manages to rescue this otherwise underwhelming fantasy from being a second-rate Shrek fable.

Penelope is out in the UK on 1st February 2008 2008.

Director: Mark Palansky
Writer: Leslie Caveny,
Stars: Christina Ricci, James McAvoy, Reese Witherspoon, Catherine O'Hara, Richard E Grant
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Drama
Length: 101 minutes
Cinema: 01 February 2008
Country: UK/US

Source: BBC London

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