Nutcracker The Motion Picture DVD review

The classic story of the nutcracker is brought to life onscreen. A skilled clock and toymaker gets an idea while in his workshop. He builds  an intricate a music box and a toy Theatre. When he finishes it he falls asleep and the toy theatre stage opens up and we are transported to the world. Clara is asleep, dreaming of dancing with a prince.  Fritz her younger brother gets a giant rat to bite her hand. She wakes up from the dream in terror. But when she goes to her family’s Christmas party and sees Fritz playing with a hand puppet rat that strongly resembles the one in the dream, she becomes very uneasy. Magic and reality, fantasy and dreams all blend in a magical tale of dance and love.

Dance and the whole world dances with you. At least that is the idea here. I am always never sold on the filming of a such a live event and sadly this failed to change my tune. It is not that the performance is not captured with grace and magic. It is. It is not that the music, production values and costuming aren’t divine. They are. It is to do with the utter lack of audience energy and kinetic dynamic power you get from a performance that is staged. This has been staged with little imagination outside of that traditional fare. It makes it lose its power to cast a spell and it turns the spectacular into a spectacle. A shared experience becomes lab experiment. We watch as dryly as if they are animals. I really wanted not to have to say this but…I won’t be going back.

The DVD is empty as well. I usually love everything second sight release but this is a miss and sadly I feel, one that will be hard to shake off….

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