October 10, 2010

Movie Monday: Phoebe in Wonderland

I ran across this movie a long time ago and it's been in my Netflix queue for weeks. I finally got around to watching it last week.

I'm not sure what drew me to this movie at first, other than it sounded kind of cute and stars Dakota Fanning's sister, Elle Fanning. Being about a little girl who loves the world of Alice in Wonderland and finds herself talking to and making friends with the characters from the story, I thought it would be a cute little kids movie, kind of like "Miss Potter." Boy, was I wrong.

Phoebe is a little girl who is active, imaginative and has difficulty following the rules. Or, she doesn't really break any more rules than any other kid at school - she's just not as good at weaseling out of it as they are. She finds an outlet by being the school's production of Alice in Wonderland. And she's raised by two parents who are both writers, but not the stereotypical flaky "free spirits" movie parent/artists often are.

This wasn't a Laugh Out Loud type of movie, but I really enjoyed it. Probably because Phoebe reminds me (in some ways) a lot of myself as a kid, and her relationship with her parents is similar to the way I related to my parents. My parents were really great about not squashing our spirits for the sake of "behaving" according to how other people thought we ought to behave. So I appreciated seeing that in a family that wasn't kooky or otherwise unrealistic. But I also really related to the mother, played by Felicity Huffman, in a sort of "I can see myself as her in 10 years" kind of way. Her reactions to the problems they face are pretty similar to what mine would be in the same situation, I think.

By the way, Elle Fanning? I can totally see her outshining her sister one day. And I say that as a die-hard Dakota Fanning fan.

Anyway, I don't want to spoil the ending for you, but I was very impressed with how they brought the real world and the fantasy world together. And how they treated some delicate subject matter that doesn't always get a fair airing. You end on a positive and hopeful note, which is always good. It's still on Netflix Instant Watch so if you get the chance, you should check it out.


  1. i loved this one.
    the scene were she's Felicity is holding Elle in the night while she's weeping just tore my heart out.
    very well acted!

  2. This sounds awesome! I always discovering a new movie (even if it's old to everyone else!) I have never heard of Elle Fanning before, but I LOVE Dakota (especially in New Moon) so I'm sure I'll love her too!!

  3. Thanks for the review - it's been in my queue for ever, too.

  4. I really enjoyed this one as well. It really was well done and had this way of just drawing in the audience. Is definitely a must see! Thanks for sharing!

  5. This has been in my Netflix queue forever. I will have to make time to watch it now!

  6. The Fanning kids are just super talented, eh?

    I will have to check it out! Maybe I can sneak it into our queue and Nate wont notice...

  7. I had no idea her sister was acting! I need to see this!

  8. This has been on my Netflix for seriously a year or something crazy. I guess I better watch it now.


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