Tag Archives: Timothée Chalamet



Director Paul King

Starring Timothée Chalamet, Calah Lane, Olivia Colman

Scott’s Review #1,414 

Reviewed January 3, 2024

Grade: B+

Wonka (2023) is only the third live-action film based on Roald Dahl’s iconic 1964 novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, following Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005).

The latter was an inadequate and unnecessarily dark film starring Johnny Depp that threatened to ruin the trademark fantasy of the original.

Fortunately, director Paul King mostly known for directing the Paddington films opts for a warm and even gooey experience that does perfect justice to the original starring Gene Wilder with many connections to that film, especially costumes, characters, and locale.

It’s saccharine sweet but not sickeningly sweet instead feeling both fresh and genuine.

The wonderful and familiar featured song ‘Pure Imagination’ appears instantly as the film begins which does wonders to capture and captivate the nostalgic audience—mixed with other new gems like ‘A World of Your Own’ hooks newer and younger viewers.

The effort works well as a kindly old friend dusted off the shelf for a new waltz across the dance floor and a dizzying chocolate delight crowd-pleaser is the result of Wonka.

Wonka is released in December amid the sugary Christmas holiday season. A marketing win what parents could refuse a delicious trip to the cinema?

The wondrous story of how the world’s greatest inventor, magician, and chocolate maker became the beloved Willy Wonka (Timothée Chalamet) we know today begins with the young actor brazenly wearing a similar garb as Wilder did in the 1971 effort.

I adore this feat and pointed display because it makes crystal clear the attempt to leverage history instead of upheaval.

Chalamet is perfectly cast as Willy in large part because he resembles Wilder with his wiry build and waifish face. There exists a kindness and trustworthiness that transfers well from the big screen to the audience member.

Throughout the film, there is light peril that Wonka faces like a crooked debt owed to the even more crooked Mrs. Scrubitt’s (Olivia Colman) boardinghouse or the vengeful competitor Arthur Slugworth (Paterson Joseph) but it’s nothing he can’t handle with a grin and shrug of the shoulders.

His feathers are not ruffled easily because he believes in the magic of chocolate. In a dear flashback scene featuring his mother, played by Sally Hawkins, she inspires him to always believe in himself and be a good person.

This is at the heart of the film.

Along for the ride are new friends orphan Noodle (Calah Lane), Abacus Crunch (Jim Carter), and others trapped within Scrubbit’s and henchman Bleacher, played by Tom Davis.

There’s even a connection with the fan favorite Oompa-Loompa’s led by Lofty (Hugh Grant) who becomes a close ally in the end. As historical viewers will know the pair reunites in business.

Despite all these terrific additions the main attraction is the chocolate naturally. Highlights are a lavish chocolate attempted drowning, a chocolate store, and more than enough chocolate colorful flowers to whet one’s appetite.

The film is weird and zany without being too far out there and retains its touchy-feely approach.

Wonka (2023) successfully builds a multi-generational bridge between audiences with a powerful human connection. Grandparents, parents, and children alike can all see the film together with a common love of chocolate and magic.

The dangers are light-hearted and the filmmakers keep age-appropriate sensibilities and the result is family-friendly material with a kindhearted approach.

We all need this sometimes.



Director Christopher Nolan

Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain

Scott’s Review #277


Reviewed September 25, 2015

Grade: B-

Interstellar (2014) is an interesting film to review.

Science-fiction/futuristic epic with a run time of nearly three hours and is complex and intricate. It is the latest offering by director Christopher Nolan.

I cannot say I loved the film, however, I did appreciate and marvel at the visual and technical aspects of it, which completely usurps the convoluted plot, made difficult to follow due to changing worlds and galaxies.

The film reminds me of Inception (2010) with an obvious homage to 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), the former directed by Nolan, but not quite as compelling from a story point of view as Inception was.

The complexities of different entities, worlds, and layers of worlds are featured and admittedly, mind-blowing, which is the weak part of the film.

Making the film arguably too intelligent, it loses the audience’s attention.

By too intelligent, I mean too complex. As I review the film, I see two halves-the story side and the visual side. In Interstellar, both are essential components and one fails and one marvels.

The story goes something like this. Matthew McConaughey plays Cooper, a widowed, former space expert stuck in a small town in the mid-west, where he begrudgingly runs a farm, living out an unsatisfying existence.

The Earth’s food and crops are slowly running out and the planet is dying. His two children, daughter Murphy and son Tom face a bleak world.

One day, a dust pattern with coordinates leads Cooper and Murphy to a secret NASA team intent on finding other worlds and attempting to save Earth. The team is led by Dr. Brand, a college professor, and science wizard, played by Michael Caine.

Cooper, naturally, is chosen to lead the venture, which could take him away from his family for years. He accepts much to Murphy’s chagrin. Once in outer space- assisted by Amelia Brand (Dr. Brand’s daughter), the team embarks on an endless mission leading them to different planets and one strange encounter with a rebel astronaut (played wastefully by Matt Damon).

Years later (on earth anyway) Murphy and Tom (now grown and played by Jessica Chastain and Casey Affleck) assume their father Cooper is dead.

Critically, the story is way too much to comprehend. I let go of the story instead of focusing on the visual spectacle I was treated to.

The plot eventually meanders off track as the team traverses through a space wormhole created by an alien intelligence and travels fifty years without aging. Life has gone on over planet Earth. Some characters age, others do not.

To summarize, the story is convoluted and impossible to follow.

Speaking of the story side of Interstellar, the writing contains an irritating wholesomeness, especially in the early stages- pre-outer space.

McConaughey was given this tough, machismo side to him that screams of Hollywood traditionalism- almost like “I am a man- I save the family”. Haven’t we seen this too many times in film?

I also found the relationship between Cooper and his young daughter Murphy incredibly saccharine and screamed of Hollywood schmaltz.

McConaughey was given and succeeded in delivering, one great crying scene.

The visual aspect of Interstellar is a spectacle and much, much better than the story, especially during the final third of the film. The sheer grandeur is astounding. When the crew lands on Miller’s planet, an ocean world, a great tidal wave topples their space ship killing one of the team.

The massive look of the tidal wave is monumental in size and ferocity. Later, when the crew lands on an icy planet, the immense coldness and shape of the planet work perfectly and one feels like they are in outer space.

How inventive and creative is the scene where Cooper attempts to contact a character through a bookshelf. The scene is set up like a maze with different periods, colors, and shapes, seemingly blending is very impressive and artistic.

Visually speaking, Interstellar has some similarities to the 1968 epic 2001: A Space Odyssey. Grandiose, artistic, experimental, and epic along with the obvious space theme allow the two films to be compared.

However, where 2001: A Space Odyssey was about life and contains a clear and powerful message, I did not find the same with Interstellar. Instead, I did not find a message, only a confusing story, mixed with spectacular visuals.

Oscar Nominations: 1 win-Best Original Score, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Production Design, Best Visual Effects (won)