Dave McKean, 2005, UK/USA (101 mins)
Rob Brydon, Gina McKee, Stephanie Leonidas
Helena (Leonidas), a fifteen-year-old juggler desperate to rebel against her circus-running parents, finds herself in a regretful limbo when her mother has an accident. While sleeping she is transported to a parallel world and embarks on the quest to find the Mirrormask which offers redemption and passage home.
The pairing of comic book writers Dave McKean and Neil Gaiman (screenplay) should be enough to get the clientele of Forbidden Planet salivating. Which is handy as there is little else here that will translate beyond a cult audience. Those seeking a credible fantasy film for young people will be disappointed.
Certainly Mirrormask has visual flair, and a flash of charm in the captivating spectacle of a roomful of robotic jack-in-the-boxes primping Helena into a backcombed goth princess while singing The Carpenters’ Close To You. But this is a standout moment in an otherwise painfully slow film, the script a convoluted jumble. Kate Taylor