The Golden Compass

Rated NR

An extremely bland film about a little girl who lives in a magical world where people speak in exposition, and everything is computer-generated. I think there’s a theme of freedom from repressive authority, but it’s completely overwhelmed by filmmaker Chris Weitz’s love of all things shiny. Weitz also fails to create any dramatic tension, as every moment feels as grand and majestic as the next. It’s like listening to the last 30 seconds of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony over and over and over again. Added bonus: Nicole Kidman’s weirdly paralyzed plastic-surgery face looms hauntingly over many scenes, with bits of pancake makeup flaking off as she tries desperately to act.

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