FANTASY; 1hr 41min
STARRING: Max Records; voices of James Gandolfini, Catherine O’Hara
Walk on the wild side: Carol and Records
In Maurice Sendak’s 1963 slender wonder of a children’s story, Max (Records) is banished to bed without supper for being a naughty boy. To compensate, he imagines a sailboat that ferries him far, far away to a magic land where the Wild Things live. After staring them fearlessly down, Max becomes their king. Although his time with them is a mind-blowing learning curve, homesickness sends him back to reality — and his supper.
Director Spike Jonze’s charged and fleshed-out adaptation hones right in on Max’s aloneness and rage. His mother (Catherine Keener) is preoccupied, his sister (Pepita Emmerichs) disregards him and his bad behaviour is a cry of outrage and hurt. But Jonze is also happily in tune with the liberating potential of imagination and his daring, moving, splendid trip de force snaps Sendak’s textured creations into supercharged action. These stroppy creatures (voiced with winning conviction by Gandolfini, O’Hara and Co) have the furball heft and soulful absurdity of the originals, and Records is with them step for towering step: an honorary Wild Thing in intuitive human form.