Friday, December 07, 2007

(:)(:)(:)(:) for The Golden Compass

Four snouts up for The Golden Compass opening today in Sacramento, California.

I struggled with the number of snouts for this one. It is a beautiful film, with a compelling plot, well-conceived, well-acted, well-written.

It held my attention throughout. I truly cared about the main character Lyra (an 11 year old girl played convincingly by 10 year old Dakota Blue Richards) and I was even interested in the dubious character of Mrs. Coulter played by Nicole Kidman (whom lately I have hated). (Coulter shown here attempting to intimidate her charge Lyra)

It doesn't help me sort this out that my kids are obsessed by the "His Dark Materials" series, of which The Golden Compass is book one. Their high expectations for the film were not dampened in the sneak preview we got Monday.

No. What makes me struggle here at all is the violence. The film ends with a massive battle scene on the frozen tundra between the forces of the all-controlling Magisterium and witches, ice bears and "gyptians" who stand for freedom. Even my children tell me the scene was gratuitous, not in the book on that scale.

Why, in an era where we so desperately need peace, must we send the message to children that the only way to freedom is through violent combat? As much as I liked this movie, I am close to banning them from watching the sequel 'til they're 18.

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