Danny DeVito's adaptation of the Roald Dahl book for children is mostly just fine, helped along quite a bit by the charming performance of Mara Wilson (Mrs Doubtfire
) as the eponymous young Matilda, a brilliant girl neglected by her stupid, self-involved parents (DeVito and Rhea Perlman). Ignored at home, Matilda escapes into a world of reading, exercising her mind so much she develops telekinetic powers. Good thing, too: sent off to a school headed by a cruel principal, Matilda needs all the help she can get. DeVito takes a highly stylized approach that is sometimes reminiscent of Barry Sonnenfeld (director of Get Shorty
, a DeVito production), and his judgement is not the best in some matters, such as letting the comic-scary sequences involving the principal go on too long. But much of the film is delightful and funny.--Tom Keogh
The hilarious story of Matilda is based on the book by Roald Dahl.
Once upon a time, there lived a quite extraordinary little girl named Matilda, but unfortunately her parents were so obsessed with their own lives they never noticed Matilda. They send her to Crunchem Hall, a horrible boarding school run by a bossy headmistress Miss Trunchbull. There, Matilda discovers remarkable skills, which allow her to turn the tables on the wicked grown-ups in her world. Danny De Vito, Rhea Perlman and Mara Wilson star in this modern fairytale that mixes humour with a magical message of love.