This live-action reworking of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid is devoid of social or political undercurrents and untethered from recognizable reality – precisely the kind of fantasy film that should appease moviegoers critical of how the Marvel universe or the Star Wars series get too close to reality.
The barrier between real and imaginary is permeable for sad sack Ben Layton (Thomas Middleditch), who slips between them without perceiving a difference. That’s a tricky state to capture, and director Jason James does so by creating a visual cocoon around Ben.
Fiona Gordon and Dominique Abel’s signature style blends screwball and romantic comedy with playful fantasy, but Lost in Paris lacks the magical elements of their previous features (Iceberg, Rumba, and The Fairy, co-directed with Bruno Romy).
The debut feature of Australian theater director Rosemary Myers and playwright Matthew Whittet plays like the love child of Jane Campion and Guy Maddin, an otherworldly quinceañera that celebrates female rites of passage and the hallucinatory power of film.
The ever-so-slightly fractured fairy tale Room on the Broom is pure delight, like the bubbly laugh of the witch who collects a menagerie of unlikely traveling companions. With a dash of drollery, Simon Pegg crisply narrates the text of Julia Donaldson’s picture book.