Where the Wild Things Are

wildthingsWhere the Wild Things Are director/co-writer Spike Jonze has said his film is not a childrens’ movie but a movie about childhood. It’s a distinction that sums up what’s wonderful about this adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s classic book. This isn’t a crowd-pleaser; it’s an art film. But it should connect with anybody who knows a child, or remembers the restless emotional energy that comes with being a child.

Sendak’s book is famously brief, made up of about a dozen pages some of which have no words. In adapting the work, Jonze and co-writer Dave Eggers smartly chose not to expand too much on the plot (which boils down to: a boy named Max gets in trouble, is sent to his room, imagines a fantastic journey to an island of scary-friendly “wild things,” then returns to the comforts of home). They have added a big sister who abandons Max for a group of her friends and they have interpreted the lack of a father in the book as a sign that Max’s parents are divorced.

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Where the Wild Things Are trailer

wildthingWell, here’s something I’m looking forward to…

Spike Jonze delivered Being John Malkovich and Adaptation his first two times up to bat. Now, without writer Charlie Kaufman on his team, he’s tackling Maurice Sendak’s beloved children’s book Where the Wild Things Are. And this first glimpse looks amazing.

Apart from the fabulous imagery and the potential for poignant scenes about the magic and uncertainty of childhood, you have Catherine Keener and Mark Ruffalo in the human roles. What more can you ask for?

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