Just got back from watching The Nutcracker movie with my daughter. I didn’t read the reviews or film version before watching, so I expected the story to be similar to the stage version. Well, I was surprised – it’s far from the stage version. Yet, I liked it. I really enjoyed the spectacular fairyland production; was enthralled by the music and pompous palace sceneries, and thoroughly entertained by the animation of little animals and transformation of inanimate to living beings, all like magic unfolding on the screen.
I’m a sucker for fairytales.
But it wasn’t at all like the dream sequence of Clara on stage, traipsing before a very tall Christmas tree, the central image of the stage production. That Clara, as I recall was a frail and very young girl, enamored by the waltzing flowers, the sugar plums and the snowflakes who all enchantingly performed to entertain the court presided over by King Nutcracker. Clara on film was, of course, lovely, determined and purposeful. In the film, Nutcracker is a pleasant young soldier, friendly, protective and loyal to princess Clara as she adventures through the web of wiles and deceit spun by the ambitious, power driven lady adviser of the royal court.
Funny that the newest modern movie theater at Mountain View, CA only had two spectators that afternoon, my daughter and me. We had the whole auditorium to ourselves. How awesome was that! The theater ran the full film, just for us! Of course, we kidded ourselves. But it was just fun to bask in a perception of “royal treatment”. Extra delight was having the waiter from the lounge restaurant/food bar carry our order to our seats. We were very pampered customers – but again, we were the only customer that mid-afternoon, treated quite royally. After all, the Nutcracker movie was a lavish display of royalty in fantasy land. Why not flow some of that “royalness” off the screen. We couldn’t have gotten any better service. Hands down, I am a fan of this movie house that features big, adjustable, comfortable theater seats, very wide aisles in the theater, a spacious restaurant lounge on the third floor right outside the theaters – and importantly, efficient and friendly customer service.
Back to the Nutcracker film. The sequence close to the tale’s end tugged at my heart. I am not going to give the story away, but that part brought tears to my eyes. The sadness was anti-climactic, though. When you see the movie, you’ll know what I mean.
Oops … did I give it away?