Christina Ricci, James McAvoy, Catherine O’Hara, Reese Witherspoon, Peter Dinklage, Richard E. Grant
“Penelope? Penelope? Wherefore art thou Penelope?” No it’s not a quote from Shakespeare. It’s a question all of the eligible suitors ask of Christina Ricci’s character in “Penelope.” They ask it repeatedly because Penelope remains hidden at every encounter when meeting a new bachelor.
Penelope is a young woman born with a curse. A male ancestor on her father’s side spurned a maid he impregnated. The maid’s mother took revenge by casting a curse on any female child born in the Wilhern family.
Fortunately, the Wilhern Empire bore only sons — that is, until Penelope. Delicate, dainty, demure Penelope has all of the unstinting privilege her nobility offers, except for one small detail to her face…her nose. Or more specifically her snout.
Yes, a pig snout is the curse Penelope is born to bear. Her parents want to protect her from a life of ridicule. So taking matters in to their own hands, they kept Penelope out of the social fray in her own “ivory tower.”
This film, produced by Reese Witherspoon, who also plays a supporting character and friend to Penelope is a wonderful account of a modern day fairy tale. Fairy tales of the past have a lesson to learn. So, too, does this tale tell of finding the beauty within oneself.
Catherine O’ Hara as Penelope’s well-intentioned mother plays her part with zest. Peter Dinklage is the unrelenting news reporter who plays a hard-nosed (no pun intended) investigative member of the paparazzi.
The dashing James McAvoy is perfectly cast as the one bachelor who accepts Penelope for herself, not caring about the fortune he would inherit by marrying Penelope. He knows deep down that he’s the one not worthy of Penelope’s inner grace and kindness.
Watching of both characters learning to value themselves for who they are makes Penelope so very worthwhile. The story, pace and characters make a wonderful modern day fable, more specifically geared to a younger audience.
Chic Stars: Three Chic Stars
Jan’s Movie Rating System:
5 – Top notch entertainment
4 – Compelling, Heartwarming, Thrilling, Comical
3 – The a) story b) actors c) special effects saved/made this movie.
2 – If you are bored watch it, or wait for DVD
1 – Don’t bother. Too morose, too violent, too blasé, an enigma.