Urban Cinefile
"I get lots of roles the American stars don't want to do. American stars don't want to kill the baby. I'll kill the baby. I'll kill any baby for a good part."  -Terence Stamp
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Wednesday, October 18, 2017 

Search SEARCH FOR A VIDEO_FILE
Our Review Policy OUR REVIEW POLICY
Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE

Help/Contact

MATILDA

Children’s comedy.

"De Vito does Dahl in "Matilda," a delightfully twisted fairy tale that artfully juggles broad tomfoolery and sly drollery, along with a generous serving of sight gags enhanced by special effects. Even though it’s being pitched primarily at younger moviegoers and their parents, pic is exubergantly quirky enough to please almost anyone. Indeed, "Matilda" has definite sleeper potential, and could very well outgross many more highly publicized and star-studded summer releases. Ancillary prospects are even brighter.

Director and co-producer Danny De Vito has remained faithful to the subversive spirit of the late Roald Dahl’s popular children’s novel about a little girl who uses her formidable intelligence - and her telekinetic powers - to triumph over stupid and/or sinister adults. There has been very little effort to homogenise the edge source material….As a director, DeVito once again proves to be an audacious stylist with an extravagant visual flair. With the invaluable assistance of production designer Bill Brzeski, cinematographer Stefan Czapsky and costumer Jane Juhm, he manages to create a world that is slightly larger and considerably funnier than life. It is a joy to visit."
Joe Leydon, Variety

"At first sight, the American actor-director Danny DeVito and the English author Roald Dahl seem to have nothing in common but baldness. De Vito is short, fat and loud; Dahl, who died six years ago, was tall, elegant and austere. But look again and you can see like minds at work in Dahl’s acerbic tales for children and adults and De Vito’s acid-flavoured comedies, Ruthless People, Throw Momma from the Train and The War of the Roses. Now the two come together in De Vito’s film of Matilda, Dahl’s children’s novel about a little girl with the bad luck to be born to crass and raucous Harry and Zinnia Wormwood, a couple with the nurturing instincts of a pair of hysterical cuckoos. Matilda is not physically mistreated but in the Wormwoods’ peculiarly self-centred household she’s left more or less to fend for herself while her parents and oafish big brother get on with their own obsessions…..They go so close to the bone in their awfulness that your laughter at the start may be distinctly nervous. After all, even the Brothers Grimm drew the line at wicked natural parents….But this is a modern fairytale and behind the clowning and the cartooning is the acceptance of the nasty truth that confronts us every day in the newspapers - that bad parents do exist and, in most cases, their children have no choice but to; put up with them…..See Matilda with - or without - a child. It’s a delight."
Sandra Hall, SMH

"….DeVito’s direction steers a confident line through the sinister grotesquerie of Dahol’s story and the countervailing mood of humanity and reason personlifed by Miss Honey and Matilda. The tone at times is a shade too strident, but Mara Wilson, who plays the little girl with an air of sweet knowingness and gravity, is the perfect foil for the film’s excesses."
Evan Williams, The Australian

Email this article

MATILDA (PG)
(
US)

CAST: Mara Wilson, Danny De Vito, Rhea Perlman, Embeth Davidtz, Pam Ferris, Paul Reubens, Tracey Walter, Brian Levinson, Kira Spencer Hesser, Kiami Davael

PRODUCER: Danny De Vito, Michael Shamberg, Stacey Sher, Liccy Dahl

DIRECTOR: Danny De Vito

SCRIPT: Nicholas Kazan, Robin Swicord, based on the novel by Roald Dahl

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Stefan Czapsky

EDITOR: Lynzee Klingman, Brent White

MUSIC: David Newman

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Bill Breski

RUNNING TIME: 93 min.

AUSTRALIAN VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Columbia TriStar

AUSTRALIAN VIDEO RELEASE: November 12, 1997

RRP: $24.95







© Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2017