Matilda the Musical (2022)
January 2, 2023 8:58 PM - Subscribe

An adaptation of the Tony and Olivier award-winning musical. Matilda tells the story of an extraordinary girl who, armed with a sharp mind and a vivid imagination, dares to take a stand to change her story with miraculous results.
posted by stopgap (6 comments total)
My kid watched this for the second time last night (at her grandma's house) and came home talking about escape artists and acrobats. I gather that's Miss Honey's parents? So we are straying even further from the book territory. But she enjoyed it a lot!
posted by Lawn Beaver at 6:57 AM on January 3

It's not all that faithful to the STORY from the original book, but speaking as a person who read it easily a hundred times as a kid, I was amazed at how well this movie captured the FEELING of the book. The totally bizarre color palettes, the enormity/unstoppability of Trunchbull, the scumbag absentee parents--these were all pitch-perfect, in a way that the Mara Wilson version from the 90's did not manage to do.

I'm still deciding whether the changes to the plot are a net positive or negative. The whole point of the original story was that a physically terrifying authority figure could be stopped by outsmarting her. The extra scene at the end of this one, with the chains and what felt like a head-to-head battle between Matilda and the Trunch, changes all of that completely, and I'm not sure it does the story itself any favors.

Halfway through it, my wife turned to me and said "Emma Thompson should win an Oscar for this," and I am very much in agreement. She absolutely crushes the role, steals the scene every time she's singing, and generally does the best job I've ever seen walking the thin line between "old-fashioned disciplinarian who has gotten drunk on power" and "terrifying psychotic autocrat who will literally kill you if you cross her". That... doesn't sound like much of a compliment, on reread, but it's exactly the character from the book, and seeing Thompson nail both sides of it (and switch back and forth so effortlessly) is goddamn amazing.
posted by Mayor West at 8:54 AM on January 3 [2 favorites]

There was a student who my wife and I thought looked exactly like Violet Beauregarde from the Tim Burton Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. She was prominently featured even though she had no real part in the film and I had to look up the actors and realized that that movie came out in 2005 so there's no way it's the same person. Seems like a weird choice to me.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 12:51 PM on January 3

Saw the stage musical years ago in Philly. Love Tim Minchin's work and really enjoyed the musical. Adding this to my list.
posted by lazaruslong at 1:10 AM on January 4

We casually turned this on the other night and Emma Thompson BLEW US AWAY!! I can’t remember a performance that had me so absolutely transfixed. The whole movie was very good but Emma was just show stopping.
posted by pearlybob at 3:33 AM on January 4

I liked the music, loved Emma Thompson, but overall it felt effortful — and I can’t stand the editing. No shot lasts longer than a second or two, constant little closeups and inserts and I can’t simply follow the dancing or the staging. It’s annoying to me (although apparently not to most people) in every case, but for musicals I think it’s fatal — it enervates the energy of the musical numbers. Just do a damned oner!
posted by argybarg at 3:55 PM on January 22

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