Keira Knightley and Helen Mirren star in Disney’s adaptation of  the story of The Nutcracker. Here’s what critics have been saying about it… 

The Guardian: *** “There’s wit here and The Nutcracker will take you from zero to Christmas jumper in the opening sequence. What’s missing is the melancholy darkness of ETA Hoffmann’s story. Instead, schmaltz-merchant director Lasse Hallström really tugs at the heartstrings and ladles on the syrup.”

The Independent: *** “Indeed, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms may exist worlds away from the stories it takes inspiration from, so shaped is it by Disney’s formulas, but it hasn’t lost sight of its traditions.”

The Telegraph: ** “The dusting of Disney glucose all over The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is as wall-to-wall as ever.” “An uneven and festive offering brimming with glitter and gaudiness that excels when it embraces its strangeness and the brilliance of the production design. Whilst never quite reaching the somber sweetness of Pete’s Dragon or the wild weirdness of Return to Oz, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is one of the better recent live-action Disney efforts that will likely delight young audiences.”

Empireonline: *** “When the film sticks close to that emotional through-line — and it largely does — it works, helped by a villain who’s clearly having a whale of a time. Also, it really will enchant little girls. Imagine if someone took Frozen, threw in a bit more Cinderella and added six more spoonfuls of sugar on top. It won’t be for everyone, but for those with a cinematic sweet tooth it’s going to be a favourite.”

Rolling Stone: * ” What this Nutcracker offers is so overproduced, so mechanical and so indigestibly whimsical that it won’t just be two-year-olds who want to puke it up.”

Hollywood Reporter: “So much attention has been lavished on the sumptuous visuals that the story and characters are suffocated.” “It’s hard to imagine kids remembering “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” by the time they get home, let alone still thinking about it several decades later.”  “There’s nothing grounding enough here; everything — the sets, the costumes, the performances — seems to drift off in a CGI haze. As a contender for cherished childhood mythology, its methods are cheap. And as a mere child distractor, it seems awfully expensive.”

The Times: **** “Disney’s festive banquet isn’t flawless, with acting that sometimes creaks and a cheesy chestnut of a moral. Yet so much imagination, money ($132 million) and star power (Helen Mirren, the American ballerina Misty Copeland and the Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel) have been thrown at the screen that you can’t help succumbing to the shiny opulence of it all.”

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is out in cinemas now. 





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