here the Wild Things Are is "one of the year's best" movies, said Lisa Schwarzbaum in Entertainment Weekly. Directed by Spike Jonze, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Dave Eggers, this adaptation of Maurice Sendak's classic 1963 children's book about a group of untamed creatures who adopt a young boy as their "like-minded king" is "profoundly beautiful and affecting." This film is "a breathtaking act of artistic transubstantiation," and I was "bowled over with emotion" (watch the trailer for Where the Wild Things Are).
Sendak's book deals with "the rage of children," said Rafer Guzmán in Newsday.com, "and Jonze's film captures this beautifully during its opening scenes." It's obvious that "Jonze and Eggers have a firm grasp on the way a child's joy can quickly turn to tears, but they squeeze hard and can't let go"—the film essentially becomes "a parade of negative emotions."
Where the Wild Things Are is "like group therapy with the Muppets," said J. Hoberman in The Village Voice, and "children brought to see it might find it a downer." The movie does have a "kinetic feel for physical play," but also a "blandness—the sense memory of a child raised on Sesame Street." Fortunately, Where the Wild Things Are "isn't overlong, but it is underwhelming."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why ABC threw its Bachelor under the bus
- Why I'm sick and tired of seeing naked women on HBO
- Why Ted Cruz is the real-life Frank Underwood
- Here's proof that Justin Bieber is just as spoiled as you always thought
- How rain helped the Mongols conquer Asia
- 10 things you need to know today: March 12, 2014
- True Detective's dangerous lies about satanic ritual abuse
- Here's how Iran is covering Russia's invasion of Crimea
- 2 proven ways to increase your willpower — courtesy of the Cookie Monster
- Why are so many elderly Asians killing themselves?
Subscribe to the Week