Synopsis: When Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot—fame and fortune are his for the taking—that is until he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity—and even a bit of wizardry—Oscar transforms himself not only into the great wizard but into a better man as well.
James Franco was a great (not perfect, mind you) casting choice for the wizard. He portrayed the con man with an adequate degree of humor and schmarmy charm.
The two sister witches however, played by Kunis and Weisz, did not impress me at all. There was something lacking in both their portrayals that I just can’t put my finger on. They looked amazing, but their characters needed a little more ooomph, grit, and, well, wickedness.
Michelle Williams, on the other hand, was a perfect Glinda. I thought her performance was simple, understated and on the mark. Plus she is so beautiful that it was easy to be swept up in her character’s journey to save her kingdom.
My favorite characters, interestingly enough, were two new additions to the Emerald City. Finley the monkey, voiced by Zach Braff, and the little China Doll, voiced by Joey King. These two characters have some of the best lines in the movie and provide most of the laughter.
I was eagerly anticipating the set and costume design for this movie and was not disappointed. The movie starts in black and white and, just like in the Wizard of Oz, turns to bright color once we float into the Emerald City. I am not typically a fan of 3D movies, but this was the perfect movie to be made in 3D. You know the set designers had a field day making this film.
Not Suitable for Young Children
Here’s the thing. There are some scary parts in this movie (witches, explosions, freaky flying babboons). While movies like Madagascar, Cars 2, The Incredibles and The Muppets all have some adult humor and scary images as well, because this movie isn’t animated I think children will view it differently. I definitely did.
In my opinion, this movie is perfect for children over the age of eight. Children of that age could sit through the entire thing and be entertained with little chance of nightmares. Keep in mind that this 35 year old woman jumped in several scenes, so if you have a child who is sensitive you might want to prep them ahead of time. Oz is definitely NOT for children under five.
On a side note, I found there to be a little too much cleavage in this movie. I’m not a prude by any stretch of the imagination, but for me to notice means there was more than normal. It just wasn’t necessary and I was distracted by it on several occasions.
Are you planning on seeing it? Let me know what you think when you do.
I received two complimentary tickets to this movie. All opinions are mine or my husband’s.