Title: Where the Wild Things Are
Length: 101 minutes
Director: Spike Jonze
Writers: Spike Jonze & Dave Eggers, based on the book by Maurice Sendak
Starring: Max Records, James Gandolfini, Paul Dano, Catherine O’Hara, Forest Whitaker, Chris Cooper, Lauren Ambrose
Music: Karen O., Carter Burwell
Synopsis: a boy goes to an island of emotional monsters
How I saw it: in the theater, October 2009; on video (have on DVD), yesterday
Story: Good. I hesitate to take points off here. The story is exactly what it should be. The movie’s about characters, not about What’s Going to Happen Next, and it does what it does perfectly. It’s interesting that, apparently, the younger you are, the more you’ll like it. Old people turned off by the idea a children’s movie that you need to engage with?
Pacing: Great. I keep reading that it’s slow, even from people who like it. I don’t know what movie they were watching. When I went to take the still of Max below, I expected to find its scene 3 or 4 minutes from the end of the movie. Nope, more like 15 minutes.
Special effects/design: Great.
Acting: Great. Records gives one of the best performances I’ve seen in a long time.
Music: Great. Perfect fit for the movie, and the soundtrack also happens to be a future indie rock classic.
Subjective Rating: 10/10 (Favorite of my favorites). Beautiful and intense. Really f***ing intense.