Stars: Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Sacha Baron Cohen, Alan Rickman, Lindsay Duncan, Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen, Ed Speelers, Andrew Scott, Rhys Ifans, Matt Lucas, Timothy Spall.
Directors: James Bobin
Screenplay: Linda Woolverton
From a movie where I did not expect much it delivered impressibly. It maybe the bias of my love for Mia Wasikowska (Alice Kingsleigh), she could literally stand and read the yellow pages and I would adore her performance. But again maybe not, as this film delivered on something the first could not; pure enjoyment as I sat in the quiet theatre.
It starts with Alice captaining her deceased father's boat—the Wonder—as it is being attacked by pirates off the coast of Malacca. Through knowing that the impossible is simply possible she was able to sail it through rocky shallow waters to safety. A fantastic opening, it re-introduces us to the brash character of Alice that doesn't believe in the impossible, doesn't believe in the societal framework of the late 1800's. She is her own person in this world and the Underland.
She is pulled into Underland as she is facing a rather difficult dilemma in her world; sell her father's ship or lose her mother's home to the man she previously rejected. They have called her to Underland to help her friend the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) as he is being dragged into a deathly depression as he believes that his deceased family are really alive (though no one believes him).
This unfolds Alice into a battle with Time, figuratively and physically as she steals the Chronosphere from Time himself (Sacha Baron Cohen). She needs to go back in time to save the Hatter's family in the past in order to save Hatter in the future. Through this quest we also get to learn about the complex sister relationship between the Red and White Queen (played by Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway respectably).
This film deals with many issues mainly around people's perspective on each other. People believing that the Hatter is simply going even more mad, The Red Queen is simply evil, and that Alice is simply just a woman who could never succeed in a man's world.
I loved Cohen's performance in this film, he has created a complex character out of very little. Bonham Carter is much more relatable in this film from the last and Alice's mother (Helen Kingsleigh played by Lindsay Duncan) has so much going for her I would have loved to have seen more from her. And again my biggest admiration for Wasikowska, simply amazing.
I would have given this film a solid 4 stars if it were not for Depp's confusing performance as the Hatter, not really sure what he was trying to do there.