Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Movie Review: Penelope (2008)

In the late 1630s, rumors arose in England, France, and Holland of a rich woman who turned away a beggar, referring to the beggar's children as piglets. The beggar subsequently cursed the rich woman. As a result of the curse, the rich woman later gave birth to a baby girl with the head of a pig. Belief in pig-faced women waxed and waned over the years until it finally dissipated in the early 1900s.[1] The film Penelope draws on this urban legend but in a more modern setting, which allowed them some room for satire.

My verdict: I liked this movie quite a bit. It had a good message and Penelope grew as a character in a believable and satisfying way. And Catherine O'Hara gives a delightful performance as Penelope's overbearing mother. But there were a few things that could've been better. I didn't feel like the movie really informed us as to why Penelope and Max fall for each other; it could've used more development. And I still find James McAvoy an odd choice for the male lead in any romantic film.[2] Reese Witherspoon, who produced, makes a cameo that didn't really fit. She seemed to not take the role seriously, but take herself in it too seriously, and so overacted. Someone else should've been cast for that part. Other than that this was a nice movie.


[1] See women.

[2] To me he looks like a snaggle-toothed Irishman who's been hit one too many times in the face with a shillelagh (even though he's a Scotsman).

1 comment:

  1. I liked the movie, too. And they made Penelope's nose quite attractive (for a pig nose). It made her real nose look ridiculously small.