Thursday, November 12, 2020

Come Away Review: A Diverse Reimaging of Some Fairy Tale Classics

Angelina Jolie	...	Rose Littleton Michael Caine	Michael Caine	...	Charlie Gugu Mbatha-Raw	Gugu Mbatha-Raw	...	Adult Alice Littleton Derek Jacobi	Derek Jacobi	...	Mr. Brown David Oyelowo	David Oyelowo	...	Jack Littleton Anna Chancellor	Anna Chancellor	...	Eleanor Morrow Clarke Peters	Clarke Peters	...	Hatter David Gyasi	David Gyasi	...	Captain James Roger Ashton-Griffiths	Roger Ashton-Griffiths	...	Smoking Overweight Man Damian O'Hare	Damian O'Hare	...	Doctor Richards Keira Chansa	Keira Chansa	...	Alice Jordan A. Nash	Jordan A. Nash	...	Peter Reece Yates	Reece Yates	...	David Marie Hamm	Marie Hamm	...	Mourner Jack Veal	Jack Veal	...	Curly

Release date: November 13, 2020
Running time: 94 minutes
Starring: David Oyelowo, Jordan Nash, Keira Chansa, Reece Yates, Anna Chancellor, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Angelina Jolie, with Derek Jacobi and Michael Caine
Directed By: Brenda Chapman

In this imaginative origin story of two of the most beloved characters in literature – Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland - eight-year-old Alice (Keira Chansa), her mischievous brother Peter (Jordan A. Nash) and their brilliant older sibling David (Reece Yates) let their imaginations run wild one blissful summer in the English countryside. Encouraged by their parents Jack and Rose (David Oyelowo and Angelina Jolie), the kids' make-believe tea parties, sword fights and pirate ship adventures come to an abrupt end when tragedy strikes. Peter, eager to prove himself a hero to his grief-stricken and financially-struggling parents, journeys with Alice to London, where they try to sell a treasured heirloom to the sinister pawnshop owner known as C.J. (David Gyasi). Returning home, Alice seeks temporary refuge in a wondrous rabbit hole while Peter permanently escapes reality by entering a magical realm as leader of the "Lost Boys." 

Come Away is an interesting meld of fairy tales and a period piece.  The film takes place in a family that is being frayed apart by reality.  And because of this, three kids--who also happen to be the main characters--use their imagination to cope with their reality and also to keep their childlike wonder in this harsh world.  And with a lot of the early film being about kids using their imaginations, it really gives the early parts of the film a chance to shine.  I really enjoyed seeing the kids playing make believe and how that was represented on screen.  The film does a great job of recreating children's play and how they see the world.  There is some definite CG, but it is not very pronounced and doesn't distract from the overall premise.

Directed by  Brenda Chapman	Writing Credits (in alphabetical order)   J.M. Barrie	...	(Peter Pan created by) Lewis Carroll	...	(Alice in Wonderland created by) Marissa Kate Goodhill	  George Acogny	...	executive producer Shereen Ali	...	associate producer Steve Barnett	...	executive producer Timur Bekbosunov	...	executive producer Alastair Burlingham	...	associate producer Johnny Chang	...	executive producer Courtney Chenn	...	executive producer Charlie Dombek	...	associate producer Simon Fawcett	...	executive producer David Haring	...	executive producer Jane Hooks	...	co-producer / executive producer Leesa Kahn	...	producer Andrea Keir	...	producer Alex Lebovici	...	executive producer Emma Lee	...	executive producer Waylen Lin	...	executive producer Minglu Ma	...	executive producer Michelle Manning	...	executive producer Cass Marks	...	line producer Philip Moross	...	Executive Music Producer Gia Muresan	...	executive producer David Oyelowo	...	producer Reg Poerscout-Edgerton	...	co-producer Steve Ponce	...	executive producer Gary Raskin	...	associate producer Steve Richards	...	producer James Spring	...	producer Peter Wong	...	executive producer
Come Away has an all-star cast as well.  You have the heavy hitters like David Oyelowo and Angelina Jolie, who are both exceptional as expected.  Oyelowo is especially good as a struggling father who goes through many emotional ups and downs.  But what was really great is seeing the young children in this film and their characters.   Keira Chansa (as Alice), 
Jordan A. Nash (as Peter), and Reece Yates (as David) are all fantastic and believable as children living in an imaginary world.  And their acting is not distracting, which is often the case with films that have a heavy dose of child stars.  They are future stars and I can't wait to see what else they do. 

And the story of Come Away is a fun one, with an imaginative take on the Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland story lines.  The film drops some great hints and weaves the two tales together, relating them to the kids and their current situations. It is really a feat to see and one that had you guessing where different pieces would come from throughout.  And I loved that this film featured a diverse cast in pretty much all the roles.  It just goes to show you that these tales are classic and timeless, and not limited to a certain type of character.  But while I loved all these parts, I do wish Come Away had a little more childhood imagination throughout.  It is really good at the start, but then seems to fade away in the middle, only to come roaring back in the end.  And the end is when the film really catches its stride and enters the dreamlike world, so I wish this had occurred sooner.  The film is also relatively serious for a kids movie, and I do wonder if some kids and parents might think this is too scary for them.  However, these minor criticisms aside, Come Away is a wonderful, original film that puts a twist on some classic tales.

Come Away will let your imagination fly, with its wonderful cast and refreshingly diverse reimagining of classic fairy tales.

Watch it.
Come Away Fairy Tale Alice in Wonderland Peter pan stories children kids imagination play playtime
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Come Away is in theaters and premium video on demand November 13.
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