Friday, November 30, 2007
Kevin Lima's "Enchanted"
Kevin Lima's "Enchanted" is such an obvious, surefire idea for Disney - fairy-tale princess Giselle is catapulted to a place where there are no nappy endings namely, New York - that you have to wonder why it took so long for the studio to put the idea into production. Part animation but mostly live-action, and also something of a musical, Lima's movie pokes good-natured fun at all the usual Disney clichés, including its on-going princess obsession and its tendency to downplay or eliminate mothers or, as it does here, portray them as something toxic. The result is a movie that's a pleasure in performance, that grows in retrospect and that, without any exaggeration, is sneakily sophisticated and subversive without calling attention to itself. Still, the film is unimaginable without Amy Adams who, as Giselle, breaks through here with the same excitement that accompanied Julie Andrews and Daryl Hannah in Disney films from the past ("Mary Poppins" and "Splash!," respectively, of course). When Adams comes dancing up a Central Park mound in the big Alan Menken-Stephen Schwartz production number, "That's How You Know," it's an iconic Julie Andrews moment and her star quality is cemented. She's worthy of an Oscar - that's if the Academy voters can restrain their shared weakness for the pretentious that overtakes them this time of year. Cate Blanchett as Dylan may be more obvious Oscar bait, but years from now, her turn is likely to seem like a dated acting stunt. But Adams' performance in "Enchanted" has the contours of something that will truly last.
(Artwork: Amy Adams glows in Disney's "Enchanted")
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