Phoebe in Wonderland

Phoebe in Wonderland

3.3 3
Director: Daniel Barnz

Cast: Daniel Barnz, Elle Fanning, Felicity Huffman, Patricia Clarkson

     
 

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Felicity Huffman, Elle Fanning, and Patricia Clarkson star in director/screenwriter Daniel Barnz's illuminating tale of parenting and growth concerning an exceptional young girl whose troubling retreat into fantasy draws the concern of both her dejected mother and her unusually perceptive drama teacher. Phoebe (Fanning) is a talented

Overview

Felicity Huffman, Elle Fanning, and Patricia Clarkson star in director/screenwriter Daniel Barnz's illuminating tale of parenting and growth concerning an exceptional young girl whose troubling retreat into fantasy draws the concern of both her dejected mother and her unusually perceptive drama teacher. Phoebe (Fanning) is a talented young student who longs to take part in the school production of Alice in Wonderland, but whose bizarre behavior sets her well apart from her carefree classmates. Her mother (Huffman) is an aspiring academic who is beginning to feel like she has not only failed in her professional career, but as a parent as well. Though Phoebe's gifted drama teacher (Clarkson) has no doubts about the young girl's talent and capacity for learning, the frustration of seeing such a promising student slowly slip ever further away from reality soon becomes a growing concern both at home and at school.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Dakota Fanning gets all the accolades, but her younger sister, Elle, may be the true natural in the family. While Dakota often comes across as a miniature adult in a child's body, Elle Fanning effortlessly captures childhood in all its glorious emotional messiness in the excellent family drama Phoebe in Wonderland. Fanning plays the title character, a challenging nine-year-old whose erratic, obsessive behavior worries and exhausts her parents (Bill Pullman and Felicity Huffman). In Phoebe, writer-director Daniel Barnz sees a textbook example of how the world wants to diagnose and label children who show the slightest aberration from "normal" behavior. While Phoebe does indeed have a clinically classifiable disorder, that's not Barnz' point. He's more interested in the positive sides of being different, in how a unique personality can produce greatness if it isn't smothered by an over-eager medical community. Phoebe's pairing with an equally quirky drama teacher (Patricia Clarkson) helps draw out these positives, even as she's becoming a more toxic presence in the lives of her family members and classmates. Barnz gets great performances across the board, starting with Fanning -- she's twitchy and abrupt one minute, delightfully fantasy-oriented the next. Fanning plays this emotional roller coaster with a veteran ease that belies her age -- amazingly, she's only a year older than her character -- and she hits both the highs and lows with a brilliant truthfulness. The movie wouldn't have such depth if it weren't for Clarkson and Huffman, the former nearly inaccessible in her commitment to emotional honesty, the latter wearing the stresses of her life in every bedraggled facial expression. As heavy as it can be, however, Phoebe in Wonderland also operates as colorful escapism, giving us a glimpse into the perspective of a child with a boundless imagination, and convincing us of the value of such individuality.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/23/2009
UPC:
0014381625127
Original Release:
2007
Rating:
PG13
Source:
Image Entertainment
Time:
1:40:00

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Elle Fanning Phoebe
Felicity Huffman Actor
Patricia Clarkson Actor
Bill Pullman Actor
Campbell Scott Actor
Peter Gerety Actor

Technical Credits
Daniel Barnz Director,Screenwriter
Ben Barnz Producer
Christophe Beck Score Composer
Bobby Bukowski Cinematographer
Nissa Ren Cannon Associate Producer
Therese DePrez Production Designer
Doug Dey Executive Producer
Chris Finazzo Executive Producer
Robert Hoffman Editor
Lynette Howell Producer
Kurt & Bart Costumes/Costume Designer
George Paaswell Co-producer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Phoebe in Wonderland
1. Main Title; Miss Dodger [4:12]
2. Something Going On [6:39]
3. Choosing a Role [9:22]
4. Costumes and Words [11:39]
5. Talking to the Red Queen [8:26]
6. Looking for Answers [6:37]
7. Classroom Consequences [10:27]
8. Words Come Out [14:39]
9. Up on the Catwalk [8:09]
10. A Voice In Your Head [9:07]
11. Through the Looking Glass [5:54]
12. End Credits [4:52]

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Phoebe in Wonderland 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
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