Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Special Cinema Spotlight: Oz: The Great and Powerful
When Oz: The Great and Powerful (2013) first came out I was quite skeptical and worried. I was worried that they would somehow ruin the legacy of The Wizard of Oz.
Sitting in the theater with my daughter (my boys are too young for this type of film), I held my breathe and left myself open to the possibilities.
I have to admit I was surprised to find myself not hating it. Michelle Williams keeps surprising me too. I saw her in My Week With Marilyn and well, she pulled that off too.
This film is a precursor to The Wizard of Oz. It is set about twenty years before Dorothy comes to Oz. It begins in a similar fashion as The Wizard of Oz did, in sepia color. We meet an illusionist/magician by the name of Oscar Diggs (James Franco). He is a bit of a con artist and womanizer and gets caught flirting with the wrong woman. He escapes via hot air balloon and that is when he gets sucked into a tornado and lands right in Oz!
He meets a girl named Theodora (Mila Kunis) who takes him to the Emerald city to meet her sister Evandora (Rachel Weisz). They tell her of their 3rd sister, Glinda and that she murdered their father. There are twists to who is actually good and who is wicked and then in a flash something happens to Theodora. I did not expect this scene and I have to say the transformation is fantastic!
In the midst of all this, Oscar is tempted to help them defeat Glinda in order to be seated on the thrown but he never expects to create friendships with a monkey named Finley and a living china china doll named China Girl.
Oscar learns about being selfless, being brave, and being a good friend. Things that he wasn't in his prior life as a traveling magician. He also learned to believe in himself and others as well.
My favorite characters in this film are Theodora after her transformation ( the clue in the photo above) and China Girl. The film also connects aspects of his life from before to his life now just as they did in The Wizard of Oz which I enjoyed seeing.
All in all, I say well done. They plan to make a sequel that will not include Dorothy since it is set twenty years before she comes and all of the original cast have signed on. I cannot wait!
Have you seen this film? What did you think about it? Were you happily surprised as I was?