|$||72.5M||Iron Man 3|
|$||50.0M||The Great Gatsby (2013)|
|$||5.0M||Pain & Gain|
|As of May 13, 2013|
This new iteration of the Wizard of Oz (the character) is portrayed by the much maligned James Franco. Alongside the dashing Wizard of Oz (also named Oz!) are Michelle Williams as Lady Glinda (she is my favorite actress), Rachel Weisz (Evanora) as one of the wicked witches, and Mila Kunis as the Wicked Witch of the West. While Franco is full of activity depicting an aimless idiot that flutters his way through life by assuaging young women and by ignoring his would be wife (also played by Williams), the three ladies busy themselves with acting to the maximum of their potential. Credit Director Sam Raimi with always extracting the utmost from his stars. The man is a filmmaker extraordinaire.
The way in which Williams livens up Glinda's character is dazzling. She is commensurately as stunning as she is both sensitive and sympathetic. She rationalizes quickly that the prophecy of the arrival of a great wizard did not necessarily indicate that the sorcerer of sorts would arrive as a great man. Instead, the nicknamed "Wizard of Oz" would require nurturing and above all, several shoves in the right direction. Williams simply bursts off our movie screens and captures our hearts for two hours.
Meanwhile, as the two dastardly wicked witches, Kunis and Weisz are creative, provocative and thoroughly eeeeeeeevviiiillll. The two actresses are coiffed to look alike and both are lovely. They follow the upside-down script as closely as possible to achieve a much varied version of the world of Oz. Their motivations are revenge and a lust for power. They would make for brilliant Sith warriors. J.J. Abrams might want to have a look at their performances.
Movie fans, if you are curious about The Wizard of Oz, I eagerly suggest that you read Gregory Maguire's four part Wizard of Oz spin-off. The characters will come alive for you and all of the questions that you have ever asked about Baum's fiction will be answered definitively. Walt Disney Pictures' 215 million dollar spectacle is just that; something pretty to take in but nothing worth keeping. Oz the Great and Powerful is all glitz and no glamour. Save Michelle Williams' expert acting, all we are really left with is a bizarre twist on a formerly tried-and-true fairy tale. Perhaps when thinking up iterations of stories such as The Wizard of Oz in order to produce a film such as Oz the Great and Powerful, studio executives should consider that the original version is best left well enough alone. While Oz the Great and Powerful is not without its merits, the storyline is one apple that has fallen miles away from its progenitor tree.
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