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A Little Princess
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Reviews & Ratings for
A Little Princess More at IMDbPro »

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72 out of 88 people found the following review useful:

A DEFINITIVE INSTANCE when the Academy, indeed the public, truly missed the mark...and indeed missed out

Author: poetellect from USA
6 May 2001

This film reminds you what life's all about. Emmanual Luzbeki's cinematography demands praise- it's so stunningly beautiful one wonders why he didn't win the oscar. Indeed, this film is flawlessly scripted, acted, and executed, it is perhaps the definitive example of how the Academy oftentimes nominates based on box-office receipts, and not based on merit. *&#$() braveheart, THIS movie was the best film of 1995. And should have been nominated. No other film makes me tear up or cry as much for its brutal honesty, it's uncliched tenderness, and heartfelt truth about those ultimately human truths- love, kindness, and the magic of believing. Rarely does a film so positively move one's heart. Seek this film out. Go now.

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45 out of 50 people found the following review useful:

A wonderful movie

Author: corpusdza ( from México, D.F., México
21 April 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It's a fantasy film over the fantasy and the imagination, but showing realities of children mistreatment and cruelty that in the real world are truly worse than those exposed (maybe more outside of U.S.A. and certainly exists in the third world, including India).

Alfonso Cuarón (`Y tu mamá también'), showed us in this film a masterful domain of the dramatic conduction combined with an excellent photography and a first-rate edition job.

For example, a deserving scene is when Sara (Liesel Matthews) wakes up and starts getting up to find the transformation of the rickety attic in a marvelous environment just made with cloths, fruits, food and incense with Hindu reminiscent. It's a fast sequence of five different shots which emphasizes the magic moment for the girl. The astonishing surprise relaxes the magic to a real world that can be good, just with the appearance of the little monkey of the Hindu servant Ram Dass (Errol Sitahal), showing to us that he, in some way, transformed the attic in the meanwhile sleep of the two girls.

Another exceptional, but very simple made scene, is when Miss Minchin (Eleanor Bron), in a crude way informs Sara that her father, an English captain of the British army, died in the war some weeks ago, and the British government confiscated all his properties, leaving her in misery. At the same time that the speech occurs, a black balloon slowly displaces floating near, exploding at the very moment in when she says that she's completely alone in the world, symbolizing that her fantasies are dead and must face the crude reality.

It's interesting to note that the hero of her fantastic stories, Prince Rama, is her own father in the movie (Liam Cunningham) and the heroin, Princess Sita (Alison Moir), is her mother, who died some years ago.

The interpretation of all the actors its extremely well directed and performed but the roll of Miss Minchin (Eleanor Bron) is remarkable.

It's not a movie about a false expectance; it's a movie about fantasies and the necessities to have a hope in the future, being able to dream and therefore make plans. (Remember `La Vita è bella' from Roberto Benigni).

Sorry for my English grammar, but is very difficult for me to express my thoughts in a different language than my native one.

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46 out of 55 people found the following review useful:

Wonderful material for the heart ...

Author: pilby ( from Lakewood, CA
9 July 2000

Sara (played by Liesel Matthiews) is a generous, compassionate, and imaginative character. This film reminds me of virtues I adhered to as a child, how almost identical they were with that of Sara, and how those virtues have gradually submerged as I ventured towards adulthood. It reminded me of the innocence I once possessed, the innocence that has been slowly but surely chipped away by Society as I know it.

Nevertheless, this film made me realize that all I ever believed was never lost in me, but rather, simply inert and obscured. As my emotions swayed along with the joys and plights the little child Sara endured, I realized I am still as humane and compassionate as I always have been, and that it just doesn't show too much on the exterior anymore, that's all.

Each time my eyes went moist, I felt happier with myself.

Too bad this film did not do too well in the theatres, as I find the film quite moving and uplifting. I would definitely recommend it to anyone!

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36 out of 39 people found the following review useful:

A wonderful little movie you might have missed

Author: jbwood421 from Marion, AR, USA
12 November 2004

Just before seeing this movie, I wasn't expecting much. There just wasn't anything else on TV, and this was just beginning, so I decided to give it a chance. It wasn't very long in before I began to realize that this wasn't just your ordinary, run-of-the-mill, by-the-numbers production. First of all, the movie, with all of the obvious attention to the sets and costume design and how it was photographed, just look absolutely beautiful. Then, the acting is simply superb by everybody, and not just the principal performers. Alfonso Cuaron (who was later tabbed to direct the 3rd Harry Potter movie, really showed his stuff in this film, which in my opinion was largely overlooked, as I don't remember a whole lot of publicity being done when it was first released, which is a shame, because a lot of effort went into making this such a good movie. Equally appealing to kids and adults alike, which is pretty rare as well. Highly recommended!

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38 out of 46 people found the following review useful:

A sweet movie that kindles your heart.

Author: Katy (imktbq) from Texas
9 May 2001

A Little Princess is a great movie of friendship and hope. It shows that all little girls can be princesses regardless of race, appearance, or being a snob. The year is 1914 and little Sarah is forced to go to a school in New York, New York (after spending all her life in India) when her father must fight for Britain in the First World War. Immediately Sarah has made two foes, the head-mistress and founder Miss Minchin and Livinia the school bully. Miss Minchin doesn't like Sarah because Sarah is imaginative and smart. Livinia doesn't like Sarah because she is a threat to her popularity. When a tragic problem arises Sarah is reduced to a servant girl her friends show her that she doesn't need to give up on life. This movie is wonderfully heart touching with a great ending. I would recommend it to anyone and everyone.

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34 out of 42 people found the following review useful:

"Stunningly Beautiful"

Author: javasoo from US of A
1 September 2001

This is the most facsinating movie to watch. It is the kind of movie that takes your breath away with its mystery, emotion, color, life, and intensity. The theme of India is so exsquisitly woven into the story with that robust color and mystery. The little girl is cherished by the audience. The emotion of her trials and joys causes goosebumps on my arms. This is 'A Little Princess' masterpiece.

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22 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

A sweet confection of a film-one of the overlooked gems of the '90s

Author: Scott Piehler from Atlanta, GA
2 December 2005

This movie is on my short list of great live action family films. If you believe that every girl is a princess, this is the movie for you. Beautifully staged and shot, well-acted, superbly directed. This movie works from start to finish.

Some reviewers here on IMDb have slammed the film as overly sentimental. If you don't like movies with a sweet disposition, this isn't your film. Let's put it this way: if you think Frank Capra was the bane of American film-making, you're gonna hate this movie. If you judge films on a "the darker, the better" scale-why are you even watching this? Another caveat: I haven't read the book. The movie apparently takes great liberties with the book. If this kind of thing bothers you, stay away.

Alfonso Cuaron shows a deft handling of the sense of wonder here. When he was announced as the director of Harry Potter 3, his work on Little Princess made me confident he'd deliver the goods. One reviewer tried to declare that "Princess" was a calculated attempt by Cuaron to to get a gig on the Potter series. Impossible. "Princess" was released in 1995, and "Sorceror's/Philosopher's Stone" was PUBLISHED in 1998.

This is a small, quiet, sweet little film the entire family can enjoy, without insulting Mom & Dad's intelligence. It is the next step for all little girls who are starting to outgrow Belle/Ariel/Jasmine and the rest of the animated princesses. This Little Princess is real, and her story is worth watching.

Side note-little boys might not find the film engaging. It is kind of chick-flick for the tween set. That doesn't mean it's totally male-unfriendly. Fathers of daughters will be hard-pressed to avoid shedding a tear or two.

If you have a tween daughter, save some rental money and just buy it! She's going to watch it over and over.

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20 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

A both heartfelt and entertaining story for all ages; it's impossible to not like this movie!

Author: (kittygirl_411) from Gainesville, FL;USA
22 October 2004

This movie is a must-see for every little girl as well as anyone who still believes in fairy tales. The heartwarming story of Sara Crew and her faith in spite of all odds is enough to melt even the coldest of hearts. This movie tells the story the way it really was in the novel-- unlike the Shirley Temple-sugar-coated ridiculously inaccurate version. The whole family can watch this and enjoy it because there's a little something for everyone. Although there are a few flaws to it (such as ludicrous near-death escapes that only could be believed in fairy tales; besides events that weren't even in the book), the good definitely outweighs the bad and this is an excellent addition to any collection!

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25 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

Radiant, emotional, and beautifully designed! MUST see!

Author: antonio-21 from NYC, NY
7 June 2000

This film transcends the "Children's Films" genre, to become a lovely miniature masterpiece. This director is fabulous! He is a master of mood and ambiance and a real artist with his compositions! (Just go see his Great Expectations modern remake for further proof!) The cast excels with the familiar material, Eleanor Bron is letter perfect as the wicked headmistress of the school, never descending into caricature, but still making her mark as a the villianous Miss Minchin. Liesel Matthews is a surprising delight as the title character, the other little girls are stereotypical but miraculously wonderful in their individual parts!

Rarely does a film completely draw you into it's world and grab hold of your emotions like this one. The imagery and design elements are remarkable. The passages from India are mystical and powerful, the use of green throughout the design elements is inspired and helps create this world of wonder seen through a child's eyes. Even though, we can guess the ending, it still manages to wring you dry of tears before the final lovely "silent movie" fade-out.

A pure delight from beginning to end! (this must be seen on DVD to fully appreciate the design elements)

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13 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Beautiful and entrancing

Author: Thaddeus Beier ( from LA California
28 June 2000

I saw this movie with my 5 year old daughter -- and while it was a little too complex for her to follow I completely fell in love with it. Everything about it is beautiful, the sets, the costumes, the acting, even the painful parts are perfect. The scene toward the end where she's dancing in the window is just have to see it.

Probably this movie is only appropriate for kids 8 and up, (depending on how worldly they are, I suppose), and perhaps that's why it did so abysmally poorly in the theaters. Still, it's a great film.


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