HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Antebellum
Offering, The
Enola Holmes
Big Calamity, The
Man Under Table
Freedom Fields
Settlers
Boy Behind the Door, The
Swords of the Space Ark
I Still See You
Most Beautiful Boy in the World, The
Luz: The Flower of Evil
Human Voice, The
Guns Akimbo
Being a Human Person
Giants and Toys
Millionaires Express
Bringing Up Baby
World to Come, The
Air Conditioner
Fear and Loathing in Aspen
Kandisha
Riders of Justice
Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki, The
For Those Who Think Young
Justice League: War
Fuzzy Pink Nightgown, The
Plurality
Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness
Night of the Sharks
Werewolves Within
Honeymoon
King and Four Queens, The
Stray Dolls
Diana's Wedding
Deerskin
Toll, The
Two of Us
Nowhere Special
Rainbow Jacket, The
   
 
Newest Articles
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
   
 
  Charlotte's Web some pig
Year: 2006
Director: Gary Winick
Stars: Julia Roberts, Dakota Fanning, Robert Redford, Steve Buscemi, John Cleese, Oprah Winfrey, Cedric the Entertainer, Kathy Bates, Reba McIntire, Thomas Haden Church, André Benjamin, Beau Bridges
Genre: Comedy, Drama, FantasyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Farm girl Fern Arable (Dakota Fanning) saves little piglet Wilbur from the axe and raises him herself. Before long Fern’s growing pig is sent down the road to her Uncle Zuckerman’s farm, where barnyard animals show no interest in making friends with this year’s Christmas dinner. Poor Wilbur is resigned to his fate, until he finds an unlikely ally in a spider named Charlotte (Julia Roberts). Warm, witty and wise, Charlotte is similarly shunned for being a creepy-crawly, but an enduring friendship blossoms between the pair and she makes it her life’s mission to help Wilbur survive. Aided by reluctant messenger rat, Templeton (Steve Buscemi), Charlotte weaves a succession of phrases like “Some Pig”, “Terrific” and “Radiant” into her web, that townsfolk come to see as a miracle. Wilbur becomes the talk of the town and, thanks to Fern’s quick thinking, is entered at the County Fair. The friends set off on their journey, little realising what lies ahead.

Those who grew up reading E.B. White’s children’s classic know the story works on a surprising number of levels. Combining a gentle satire of small town gullibility, a moving and life-affirming friendship, and a child’s eye view of life, death and the sometimes sad aspects of growing up, it is a fable worthy of Frank Capra. Director Gary Winick pulls off a few visual coups in gradually brightening his colour palette to suggest the warmth slowly spreading across the human and animal communities, and in Charlotte’s beautiful, web-weaving ballet, but races through his storytelling like a man on fire. Events speed by so quickly, leaving little time for magic to seep through.

The simple characterisation of Hanna-Barbera’s 1973 cartoon is much missed amidst an overload of sarcastic, farting CG animals including Robert Redford as a comedy horse, John Cleese as an inexplicably British sheep in Middle America, and Oprah Winfrey and Cedric the Entertainer as bickering geese. Count the amount of recent cartoons to feature an angry, attitude-laden animal voiced by an African-American actor. Such lazy characterisations are fast becoming tedious. Of better value are André Benjamin and Thomas Hayden Church as two starving crows flummoxed by the local scarecrow (“That guy hasn’t moved for six hours!”), and at the risk of sounding unkind, was there ever a more perfect actor to play a self-serving rat than Steve Buscemi? He shines, although Winick only added Templeton cavorting in the fairground after test audiences claimed they missed seeing the “A Fair is A Veritable Smorgasbord” sequence from the Hanna-Barbera version.

In White’s novel, Fern eventually starts to notice boys and forgets all about poor Wilbur. Here, screenwriters keep her devoted even after young love blossoms with an unnamed lad (called Henry Fussy in the book, but the makers seem to think audiences will laugh at his name, which is sad), and give Fern a more active role in proceedings. Thus accommodating a star turn from the ever-endearing Dakota Fanning. Best of all is Julia Roberts, whose warm tones make Charlotte such a winning creation and enliven a film that is never quite as charming as its storybook opening and closing credits.
Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 4579 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: