Penelope

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Posted October 1, 2007 in Film

A precocious fairy tale made for and starring people too old for whimsy, Penelope (Christina Ricci) is an heiress cursed with a pig nose that will only turn pert when truly loved by a blueblood hottie. Naturally, her status-conscious parents Catherine O’Hara and Richard E. Grant lock her in their mansion and hire a series of scions for the job. Max (James MacAvoy) has such crystalline blue eyes you know he’s fated to be her happy ending (or at least tie the optastical Ricci in a staring contest) but director Mark Palansky duly goes about setting up obstacles like a money-grubbing tool (Simon Woods) and a barfly friend (Reese Witherspoon) who encourages Penelope to ditch the testosterone quest and embrace her porcine inner and outer beauty. As every page of this feels like we’ve read it before–save for Penelope’s ascension as a media darling–the only sense of wonder comes from grokking Ricci’s costume changes, a jewelbox of bohemian Donna Reed ensembles that I’d totally snog a frog for. (Amy Nicholson)


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