Thursday, October 22, 2009

Out of Control!

Tuesday night, we went to a late showing of the new movie "Where the Wild Things Are," famously translated to the screen by director Spike Jonze from the 1963 children's classic by Maurice Sendak.

The film is an engaging look inside the wonderful imagination of a young boy named Max who lives with his mother and teenage sister after his parents split and his mom begins to date.

Max's rambunctiousness runs high. After biting his mother during a fight, she screams at him, "You are out of control!"

Max will later scream the same words to Carol, the favorite "wild thing" of his imaginary world of larger-than-life creatures who accept him as their king.

Max is adequately portrayed by a newcomer, 12-year-old Max Records, while his mom is played by the consistently good Catherine Keener. Carol is voiced by James Gandolfini of "The Sopranos."

I was glad I plunked down the $12.50 to see "Where the Wild Things Are" in the theater. The many beautifully-constructed scenes deserved the big screen treatment and my undivided attention.

It also was a pleasure hearing the voice of the great actress Catherine O'Hara bring life to Judith, a demanding inhabitant of Max's wild world. I've been a fan of O'Hara's since "Beetlejuice" and enjoyed her immensely in the mockumentary "A Mighty Wind."

Some parents are asking whether this movie is good for the kids. I'd say yes. But, post-movie conversation about the film's challenging themes would be essential. Sendak and Jonze have provided much to mull over.

As of this writing, "Where the Wild Things Are" has a 69 percent rating at Rotten Tomatoes. Eh, that's too low.

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