- Based on the book: The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
- Directed by Chris Weitz
- Screenplay by Chris Weitz
- New Line Cinema (2007)
- rated PG-13
- 113 min.
- I watched this film on Dec. 7
So, right from the beginning to the very end the story adaptation is good, it doesn't make crazy shit up or leave out important things. It cuts our story off a bit before the end of the book, but I feel confident that they will include that all in the beginning of the next. And, if for some reason there is not a next, I will have to punch a bitch.
Either way, I wasn't sure how I was going to feel either about the little girl playing Lyra, or Nicole Kidman, and they both impressed me. Dakota Blue Richards is the girl, and this appears to be her first movie. She's very good and believable as Lyra, who, is really a great character. She's rude, she's a trouble-maker, and she's brave, and this girl did a fantastic accent - almost exactly what I imagined. Kidman played Mrs. Coulter like a goddamn crazy person and it was pretty cool. Who hits their own daemon?! Religious crazies who are cuckoo for cocoa puffs, that's who. She also looks beautiful (as always) and very, very thin and tall. Her costumes accentuate that. And, her golden monkey is effin creepy. You almost feel bad for it because it's clear that Coulter's craziness even freaks him out (and he's CG).
People's daemons are super cool. Lyra's Pan switches his form effortlessly and sometimes midair, which is super cool. Also, apparently, he's voiced by Freddie Highmore. And they look real and cuddly.
OMG - bear fight! First off, I didn't realize Gandalf was the voice of Iorek. The bears were super sweet and the fight was amazing. Seriously, it was crazy talk. They kept going for the money shot of the bear growling (howling? yelling? wtf noise do bears make?) and you'd think it got old, but man, it never did. Chills.
I feel like they are playing up the religious aspects a bit more than the first book really did, which is fine with me. I also think the ensuing kerfuffle about it is, of course, insane. It's like the stink they made over DaVinci Code, but the difference is, this movie is actually good.