16 March 2010

Helena Bonham Carter Reveals The Red Queen's Subtle Anger

Tim Burton's 'Alice in Wonderland' has kept a top position in cinemas for 2 weeks in a row and it is clearly on the way of becoming the highest grossing Burton film. Meanwhile Burton's partner and the villain star of Wonderland, Helena Bonham Carter has been talking about her role as the Red Queen in an interview with Ian Spelling for New York Times Syndicate. This is what Bonham Carter said about her getting the role in this production.

"No, no, no, I just assume that I'm not going to be a part of it unless he [Tim Burton] asks. And he asked me quite late in the day about 'Alice in Wonderland.' I remember that he phoned up, because I was working away, I was doing 'Terminator' in New Mexico. He phoned up and wondered if I would ever possibly think I'd want to play the Red Queen."

"It's very low-status, the way he asks. I'd never read the script, so I didn't know what he was talking about. Then, when I read it, I read her character description. Her name is Iracebeth. It said, 'Iracebeth enters. She has a huge, oversized head and is very, very angry.' I thought, 'Well, that's interesting, how he sees me now.'

"He said, 'Well, I did draw you.' That's what often happens, is that he sort of trusts his unconscious, and he said that his early drawings of the character looked like me. I wouldn't say that it's completely me, but the drawings have definitely got my angry eyebrows."

Burton gave specific instructions for Helena to capture his idea of the Red Queen:

"He likes, always, to have a quieter take. He doesn't like big acting. It's funny - the more outrageous you are or the more unreal, the more real he wants you to pull back. He gave me two notes. He wanted me to watch 'Mommie Dearest' (1981) and Bette Davis' Elizabeth I in 'The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex' (1939) with Errol Flynn. Faye Dunaway, doing the hanger scene in 'Mommie Dearest' , basically it's a person who's about to erupt, somebody who's on the edge of anger all the time.

"It was quite hard because it was unreal. It was like with Mrs. Lovett, he said, 'Look, you're already singing, that's unreal, so I want you to be as small in your acting as possible.' Here he said, 'We're in Wonderland, or Underland, so you have to compensate for that.'"

04 March 2010

Alice In Wonderland Movie Review - Why Is Raven Like A Writing Desk?

I have just returned from the Underland, Tim Burton's Wonderland. I've met all the creatures, and while many of them are funny and cute, the Cheshire Cat is best of all. This vaporising feline appears suddenly, always at the right time and disappears as quickly, finally saving the day!

Alice in Wonderland is Disney's latest 3D production. Alice Kingsley (Mia Wasikowska) is a 19 year old girl in Victorian era who escapes getting engaged by following a White Rabbit through a rabbit hole to Underland. There she meets the Mad Hatter, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, March Hare and Dormouse who try to convince Alice that she is the one who will help them return the crown to the White Queen (Anne Hathaway) from the evil big-headed Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter). Evidently there will be a battle scene in this plot but it is not too dark for all the family to enjoy.  Actually there is nothing dark in this Tim Burton film, except the stepping stones in the water surrounding the Castle. That is a little surprising considering Tim Burton's other movies; Edward Scissorhand, Corpse of A Bride, Sweeney Todd.

The scenery and animation is superb. It is amazing how believable the characters seem. The actual people acting with animated characters looks effortless and real. Another favorite of mine was the Caterpillar with the voice and facial features of Alan Rickman. All in all the many furry animals have such extreme personalities and they are so endearing, as you could expect from a Disney film, that there was a lot of laughter in the cinema tonight.

The music in the movie was in tune with the scenes, beautiful and exiting. Tim Burton has added many quotes to this film  from the original Lewis Carroll books. "Why is the raven like a writing desk?" is used several times; it truly points out the madness of the Hatter (Johnny Depp). But one was left missing: "We're all mad here!"

I enjoyed the film and so did my daughter who was giggling out loud half the time. I'd like to see it soon again and escape into the magic of Wonderland.
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02 March 2010

Alice In Wonderland Stars In The Green Room - Footage Behind The Scenes

"Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast!" Alice quotes the White Queen in this behind the scenes footage. It is very interesting to see how Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska, Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway actually work in the green room. Crispin Glover has an especially demanding job playing the huge Knave of Hearts since he needs to act on extended wooden legs to have a realistic look of a giant.

Only a few more days to go, and we'll be enjoying the movie event of the year!
Here is also the International trailer for those who haven't seen the full length movie trailer of Alice in Wonderland yet. "Curiouser and curiouser!"