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Sally and Gillian Owens have always known they were different. Raised by their aunts after their parents' death, the sisters grew up in a household that was anything but typical--their aunts fed them chocolate cake for breakfast and taught them the uses of practical magic. But the invocation of the Owens' sorcery also carries a price--some call it a curse: the men they fall in love with are doomed to an untimely death. Now adult women with very different personalities, the quiet Sally and the fiery Gillian must use all of their powers to fight the family curse and a swarm of supernatural forces that threatens the lives of all the Owens women. Written by
After bad reactions at a test screening, composer Michael Nyman's score was rejected at the last minute. It was called too European sounding and obtrusive. It was replaced with one by Alan Silvestri. The change was made so late that the soundtrack albums had already been pressed. As a result, the first batch to hit stores all had two suites of themes from Nyman's score. A few weeks later, a new version of the CD, with the exact same ISBN number, was made, replacing Nyman's tracks with music by Silvestri. See more »
In the garden, when Officer Hallet and Sally first meet, Sally is wearing a watch on her left wrist. When Sally looks at Officer Hallet's badge we can see her reflection, and she is not wearing the watch. When the scene continues she is wearing the watch again. See more »
Aunt Frances Owens:
For more than 200 years we Owens women have been blamed by everything that's ever gone wrong in this town.
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It appears that director Griffith Dunne tried to keep this film from being as powerful as it could have been. The movie fails to fully develop the town's overt fear of witches (missing only slightly), the full foreboding of "something wicked this way comes" with Jimmy (although the script lets them get away with it), and the magical love bond between Sally and Gary. A few small changes, such as more supportive background music, would have made these points support and counterpoint the lighter parts of the flick.
Bullock and Kidman are very good as the central characters, very believable as different-but-bonded sisters. Kidman is a little too flaky at times to be a fully credible witch, but this characterization runs well enough in context. Channing (whom I rarely enjoy) and Wiest are excellent in major supporting roles, outdone only by Webb and Wood (Sally's daughters) who show their abilities by *not* overacting their potentially cutesy roles. Instead, they do a great job in stating variations on their mother and Aunt Gilly.
Overall, I think most aspects of direction and production could have used one more iteration of quality improvement. Still, the movie is quite enjoyable, and worth watching again some time.
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