With most stories along this line, there is always the danger of the audience being subjected to two hours worth of cringing schmaltz, but Penelope succesfully avoids this classification through its great cast choices and fantastic script. Ricci plays the pig-faced aristocrat with aplomb, and her sharp wit carries the film. At times heart-breaking, her characterisation of a girl dealing with parental pressure, love-trouble and learning to live in her own skin makes this the perfect film for any teenager to relate to.
McAvoy's performance is likewise fantastic, his American accent is faultless and he delivers the character of Johnny with surprising conviction, and cameo's from British comedians Lenny Henry, Nick Frost & Russel Brand provide light relief to the more heart-breaking moments of the film. Visually, the film provides Tim-Burton-esque gothic imagery, from the family's mansion to the casting of the elfin Ricci, which fits the 'Brothers Grimm' type subject matter perfectly.
Despite the predicatable ending, the sympathetic characterisations and thoughtful storytelling ensure that the audience wouldn't want it any ther way. The perfect fairytale.
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Fantasy adventure starring Christina Ricci, James McAvoy and Reese Witherspoon. The tale of a young woman overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds to win her Prince Charming has long been a staple of fairy tales but here, the classic tale is given a contemporary spin. What if, for instance, the rich and handsome Prince Charming actually turned out to be a total cad, and true love for the heroine rested in the hands of an initially duplicitous card shark? And what if, more importantly, the story was less about a young woman finding true love and more about her learning to love and value herself?
Please note this is a region 2 DVD and will require a region 2 (Europe) or region Free DVD Player in order to play. Penelope is afflicted by a secret family curse that can only be broken when she is loved by one of her own kind. Hidden away in the family's majestic home, she is subjected to meeting a string of blue-bloods through her parent's futile attempt to marry her off and break the curse. Each suitor is instantly enamored with Penelope (and her sizable dowry)... until the curse is revealed. When a willing mate cannot be found, mischievous tabloid reporter Lemon, (Peter Dinklage), hires Max, (James McAvoy), to pose as a prospective suitor in hopes of snapping a photo of the mysterious 'Penelope.' Max, who is really a down-on-his-luck gambler, finds himself drawn to Penelope and not wanting to expose or disappoint her, disappears and leaves Lemon in the lurch. Fed up by this latest betrayal and determined to live life on her own terms, Penelope breaks free from her family and goes out into the world in search of adventure - curse be damned.