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The Nutcracker: the Untold Story

The Nutcracker: the Untold Story

Andrei Konchalovsky (2010)

108min
PG Certificate
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Review

Our Score
It's more scary-tale than fairy-tale as Tango & Cash director Andrei Konchalovsky re-imagines Tchaikovsky's much-loved ballet (and the short story that inspired it) in disastrously dark and rambling fashion. Ambitious yet woefully ill-conceived, the hideous family musical opens in a beautifully designed 1920s Vienna, where young Elle Fanning receives a magical toy nutcracker for Christmas that turns out to be a boy prince bewitched by the evil Rat Queen (Frances de la Tour) for her military dictator son (John Turturro). Soon Fanning's caught up in the weakly realised Nutcracker's battle to free his fantasy realm from the rodent troops; heralding a stylistic switch from dreamy tinsel and snow fairies to inappropriate and unsettling Third Reich-reminiscent imagery, and camerawork so sinisterly gloomy that you can barely see what's happening. With no colour and excitement, the flimsy events feel empty and badly paced, wasting the starry cast, and leaving it entirely to Tim Rice's blandly modified songs to fake a sense of momentum.

Summary

A girl in 1920s Vienna receives a wooden nutcracker doll for Christmas from her uncle. The doll comes to life and leads her into a magical world where toys are alive and everything is much bigger than normal. However, evil rats are plotting to take over, and it is up to her to thwart their schemes. Fantasy, starring Elle Fanning, Nathan Lane and John Turturro.

Cast & Crew

Mary Elle Fanning
Uncle Albert Nathan Lane
The Rat Queen / Frau Eva Frances de la Tour
The Rat King John Turturro
Father Richard E Grant
Mother / The Snow Fairy Yulia Visotskaya
Max Aaron Michael Drozin
The Prince / Nicholas Charles Charlie Rowe
The Nutcracker Shirley Henderson
Director Andrei Konchalovsky
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Other Information

Language: English Colour Available on: Available on DVD and BluRay

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