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GRINCH, THE (2018)

SYNOPSIS:
Grinch (voice of Benedict Cumberbatch), lives a solitary life inside a cave on Mt. Crumpet with only his loyal dog, Max, for company. In a cave rigged with inventions and contraptions for his day-to-day needs, the Grinch only sees his neighbours in Whoville when he runs out of food. Each year at Christmas they disrupt his tranquil solitude with their increasingly bigger, brighter, and louder celebrations. When the Whos declare they are going to make Christmas three times bigger this year, the Grinch ...

Review by Louise Keller:
Squeals of delight filled the cinema throughout this animated confection, in which generosity of spirit and the bond of friendship is the key to happiness. Based on Dr Seuss' 1957 much loved book, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, this happy animation is an explosion of colour, humour and action. The visuals are splendid, the characterisations delightful and the film's message ever potent as the notion of loving your neighbor is delivered. Uplifting, endearing and wonderfully entertaining, the whole family will adore The Grinch.

After an initial sequence in which we enter the picturesque town of Whoville (a mythical version of Pleasantville), we meet the grumpy Grinch (Benedict Cumberbatch, in top form) living in his cave, surrounded by the trimmings of misery. I chuckled when I saw the frown on his cappuccino froth and the tags on his coathangers: 'wretched; miserable; very miserable'. His aversion to Christmas, we are told, is because his heart is two sizes too small. (In flashback, the cause of this revelation is later revealed.) 'I don't speak ridiculous,' he says as he tolerates the natural exuberance of the townsfolk, when he ventures into town to stock up on provisions.

Max the dog, who acts as the Grinch's butler, companion and dog's body is a real scene stealer displaying a whole range of expressions and emotions, as he brings his master coffee and does everything he can to be the perfect Grinch Best Friend. The Grinch's mission to 'stop Christmas coming' begins with his search for reindeer to pull the sleigh that will help him carry all the town's joy and happiness he intends to steal. Enter Fred, a massive reindeer, who looks as though he has devoured all the others. These are some of the film's funniest scenes and the one in which Max teaches Fred how to exhibit 'puppy-dog eyes' is hilarious.

Catalyst for change is five year old Cindy Lou (Cameron Seely), whose selfless Christmas wish for her hardworking mother Donna (Rashida Jones) results in The Grinch's redemption. On the wings of humour and beautiful imagery, the film soars, as its positive and uplifting themes take flight. If you're feeling a bit jaded by the advent of Christmas, go green and visit The Grinch. It will give you heart.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

GRINCH, THE (2018) (PG)
(US, 2018)

VOICES: Benedict Cumberbatch, Cameron Seely, Rashida Jones, Pharrell Williams, Tristan O'Hare, Kenan Thompson, Sam Lavignino, Ramone Hamilton, Angela Lansbury, Scarlett Estevez, Michael Beattie

PRODUCER: Janet Healy, Christopher Meledandri

DIRECTOR: Yarrow Cheney, Scott Mosier

SCRIPT: Michael LeSieur, Tommy Swerdlow (book by Dr Seuss)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: n/a

EDITOR: Chris Cartagena

MUSIC: Danny Elfman

RUNNING TIME: 86 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Universal

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: November 29, 2018







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