MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN
When Jacob discovers clues to a mystery that spans different worlds and times, he finds Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. But the mystery and danger deepen as he gets to know the residents and learns about their special powers.
Review by Louise Keller:
Firmly branded with Tim Burton's magnetic and distinctive stamp, this wondrous time-travel fantasy adventure is propelled by imagination and superb execution. I felt like a kid in a candy store who gets to sample everything. Based on a novel by Ransom Riggs and adapted by Jane Goldman, we are immediately drawn into the world that Burton creates, into the home for the so-named Peculiar Children, who boast unique talents: a bit like the X-Men, only weirder. Invisibility, super strength, weightlessness and igniting fire are some of the more ordinary 'talents'. The weirder ones include a boy who creates and controls the 'puppets' he brings to life from their inanimate state, the little girl whose shark-like jaw is hidden behind her Shirley Temple curls and the boy who can projects his dreams like a movie. Imagine the X-Men wandering into the Adams Family's home.
Then there is Miss Peregrine as portrayed by the hypnotic Eva Green (allegedly Burton's new muse), whose dark sensibilities, striking looks and swept up dark hair are enhanced by dramatic eye make up, regal posture and an elegant eccentricity. She smokes a pipe and carries a fob watch. Time is of the essence. As a rare 'ymbrine' with a talent to turn into a blue falcon (Green looks decidedly avian), her special skill is to manipulate time and create a 'loop', a groundhog-like 24 hours that requires careful maintenance as she protects her precious wards from the evil Hollows. Watch for Samuel L. Jackson in a delicious turn as the evil Barron with snow-white hair, bulging eyes to match and a full set of vampire-like fangs that look like a dentist's wet dream.
Asa Butterfield (Hugo, Ender's Game), with his endearing baby face and long limbs is perfect as Jacob the protagonist, whose trauma involving his paranoid, demented grandfather (Terence Stamp, in fine form) sends him to a little island off the coast of Wales with his un-empathetic father (Chris O'Dowd), where the elements of time travel kick in. The action flits from the present to a specific day in 1943, where Miss Peregrine controls the 'loop' with clockwork precision. The all-important transition to 1943 is seamless, allowing us to 'believe', the most important aspect of any fantasy. There's a nice vibe between Jake and Emma (Ella Purnell), a pretty blonde nymph who wears weighted platform shoes to keep her grounded in an implied romance.
Everything is a little off kilter, from the music chords to the action which becomes more and more bizarre, offering memorable moments like Jackson gobbling up eye-balls in a search for eternal life and skeletons brought to life in a spectacular finale at Blackpool Pier. Special effects are magical as all the elements are beautifully interwoven. Discover the wonderful world of Tim Burton's Miss Peregrine for yourself. It is one of those films that allows the mind to open up to endless possibilities.
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MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN (M)
(US, Belgium, UK, 2016)
CAST: Eva Green, Samuel L. Jackson, Asa Butterfield
PRODUCER: Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping
DIRECTOR: Tim Burton
SCRIPT: Jane Goldman (screenplay), Ransom Riggs (novel)
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Bruno Delbonnel
EDITOR: Chris Lebenzon
MUSIC: Michael Higham, Matthew Margeson
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Gavin Bocquet
RUNNING TIME: 127 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: 20th Century Fox
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: September 29, 2016