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When Coraline moves to an old house, she feels bored and neglected by her parents. She finds a hidden door with a bricked up passage. During the night, she crosses the passage and finds a parallel world where everybody has buttons instead of eyes, with caring parents and all her dreams coming true. When the Other Mother invites Coraline to stay in her world forever, the girl refuses and finds that the alternate reality where she is trapped is only a trick to lure her. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Henry Selick's "Coraline" is a smart adaptation of Neil Gaiman's extremely popular award-winning novella. Selick's screenplay is excellent and faithful without being a carbon-copy of Gaiman's story, and Selick adds some of his own dialogue to the film, so his contribution is most certainly not only visual, and chooses which dialogue to use from the novel wisely. Less of a horror story than the novella and more of a dark fantasy, "Coraline" features a well-written and well-drawn lead character and brings the novel's bizarre world to life without compromise. The film's fantasy world grows more bizarre each time we see it, and is as discomforting as it is fun. I missed the singing rats from the novella, but this was more than compensated for by the visual splendor of the garden scene, and there are numerous other examples of the changes from the novel making total sense as Selick's vision of the story differs from Gaiman, but doesn't betray the original work of art, only compliments it. The voice cast is very good and one cannot praise the spectacular animation enough. I was very pleased with the 3D presentation here, it was very, very rarely (only once or twice) used as a 'cool effect', and overall was very tastefully used to give the visuals more depth. Perhaps the first really good film to have a wide release in 2009, and looking at the next few weeks I see more than one film I'm moderately interested in, so this might end up being a pretty good year.
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