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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
An unexpected problem that director Griffin Dunne encountered was the number of takes both actresses needed to nail each scene. Sandra Bullock would generally do it in 2 or 3 takes but Nicole Kidman had just spent the last 18 months working with Stanley Kubrick on _Eyes Wide Shut_ and had gotten into the habit of doing 70 or 80. See more »
When the witches jump off the roof, they are in a different order when they land than when they were on the roof. 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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