Penelope

  • U
  • Mark Palansky (2006)
  • UK
  • 85 min
Penelope
Film Review
Reviewed By
1 out of 5

This stilted modern fairy tale set in a weird storybook conglomeration of Manhattan and London is a role-reversal take on Beauty and the Beast, but is too bland for adults and too grounded in reality for youngsters. Christina Ricci stars as the eponymous wealthy recluse who was born with a pig snout as the result of a secret family curse. Tabloid reporter Peter Dinklage (the only good thing in the movie) hires down-on-his-luck gambler Max (James McAvoy) to take photos of Penelope's face. But could Max turn out to be her Prince Charming? Along with the heavy-handed direction of this empty piece of whimsy, the twists are too predictable, the slapstick farce too broad and the roster of British comics in minor roles (Lenny Henry, Russell Brand, Ronni Ancona) a hollow gimmick. Equally pointless is the cameo from Reese Witherspoon (the film's producer) as a motorbike messenger, which adds further Hollywood peculiarity to the stodgy artifice. The fact Penelope really isn't that ugly doesn't help, either.

Plot Summary

Fantasy drama starring Christina Ricci and James McAvoy. Penelope's wealthy family suffers from a curse that caused her to be born with a pig snout. Her plight is made worse when she attracts the attention of a tenacious newspaper reporter.

Cast and crew

Cast

Penelope Wilhern
Christina Ricci
Max
James McAvoy
Jessica Wilhern
Catherine O'Hara
Lemon
Peter Dinklage
Franklin Wilhern
Richard E Grant
Annie
Reese Witherspoon
Edward Vanderman
Simon Woods
Aunt Wanda
Ronni Ancona
Jake / Witch
Michael Feast
Mr Vanderman
Nigel Havers
Sam, jazz club owner
Russell Brand
Gambler
Nick Frost
Larry
Burn Gorman
Krull
Lenny Henry

Crew

Director
Mark Palansky

Other Information

Language: 
English
Colour
Theatrical distributor: 
Momentum Pictures
Available on DVD
Released 1 Feb 2008
Certificate U
Distributor:
Technicolor Home Entertainment Services
Categories
Drama

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