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Alice Upside Down (2007)

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Still mourning the death of her mother a few years back, ALICE McKINLEY finds her life seriously disrupted when her father BEN buys a store and moves her and her older brother LESTER to a ... See full summary »

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Title: Alice Upside Down (2007)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Mrs. Plotkin
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Miss Cole (as Ashley Drane)
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Elizabeth
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Patrick
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Pamela
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Aunt Sally
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Kelly
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Loretta
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Mr. Edgecombe
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Mrs. Price
Lindsey Trout ...
Salesgirl
Alexandria Basso ...
Marilyn
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Storyline

Still mourning the death of her mother a few years back, ALICE McKINLEY finds her life seriously disrupted when her father BEN buys a store and moves her and her older brother LESTER to a new town. In the painful throes of adolescence, Alice has a rough time adjusting to her new school, especially after she gets the stern MRS. PLOTKIN as her core teacher. Feeling shy and isolated, Alice frequently escapes into a vivid fantasy life that occasionally gets her into hot water. But with a little unexpected help from Mrs. Plotkin, Alice learns not to judge by appearances or jump to conclusions. More importantly, she confronts her father over his inability to accept their loss and move on into the future... Written by breakdown

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Release Date:

6 October 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alice  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

€4,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the background of Alice's dream sequence of walking into school, you can see a bust of William McKinley. See more »

Soundtracks

Gotta Rock
Performed by Lucas Grabeel
Written by Margie Hauser, Dale Rosenbloom, and Eliot Sloan
Produced by Eliot Sloan
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User Reviews

This makes me reread the novels, v1.04
21 May 2012 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

A feature that is likely to be 'extremely okay family genre' for those who have not read the novel.

The reviews to date say a positive and okay movie, just there are not so many reviews. They are also not by people who are fans of the novels, those are over in the message board.

Once upon a time a writer called Phyllis Reynolds Naylor started what was to become a very approachable series of novels about a girl called Alice McKinley. They started in The Agony Of Alice as she was moving house and about to start year seven, the senior year of her close to Washington USA elementary school, no bigger and older ones in the school. From novel 3 she is at High School part 1, years 8 and 9. From novel 13 she is at High School part 2, years 10 plus. Some aspects of the schools seem more English than USA, which might be the author trying to make the series more accessible.

I did not start reading them until the second novel and I was not expecting this feature to have much in common with the novels. For me it is a spur to go back to the first novel, then to the others, and it surprises me just how much of the feature actually is in the first novel. Not all, but a lot, though often changed in big ways. Looking at them afresh also shows me that there are many more novels available now, including prequels, ages 8, 9 and 10. This is a feature that makes me go and buy some paperbacks and by novel 16, Including Alice, they still seem really okay, just different as the storytelling changes as Alice gets older. Age 11, her world is different to age 16 and this series goes to age 18, maybe. That makes these very different to the London UK based Ally's World series of Karen McCombie, also very okay.

The casting of Alyson Stoner as Alice. Camp Rock and Suite Life make me consider that to be an excellent choice. Apart from the music and dance skills. Except that the novels would need her to be closer to the age that she was in Suite Life. How rude of me to consider that to be a weak point of this adaptation, a class of fourteen year olds playacting as eleven year olds. For me, it gets in the way.

Brother Lester, Lucas Grabeel, in the novels he is closer to Grabeel's own age. He also had lots of hair. For this 2007 movie the 22-ish year old Grabeel actually had to play a high school kid rather than a university student. The director even made him shear his head. Except, in some ways, the feature is nice for drawing out some aspects of Lester's character. I just accepted him and this feature does make me have to reconsider who the characters are, but the novels are not this Lester.

Lots of detail is changed in a way capable of horrifying fans of the book. Dad, Aunt Sally, etc. At least that is not at the level of Harry Potter movies 4, 5 and 6 where the whole spirit feels inverted, it could easily have been a lot worse. This portrayal of Alice is not quite as upside down. The film-making destructors not as active as in the later Harry Potter novels, but much more active than in Philosopher's and Chamber.

I still do not understand why so much detail was changed. Adaptations often make changes due to technical differences between book and film. A lot of the changes, here and in other adaptations, do not seem needed. For a series such as this the changes felt foul, lacking.

This is a world where some forms of vandalism have become the norm. Considered laudable, in fact. Adaptations are said to be a gesture of respect for the original. If they turn the original on its head, one way of the destructors, then I do not consider it to be a gesture of respect.

I experience this author and such as Rowling and McCombie to have a mature-ish approach to symbolism and characterisation. But many film type storytellers appear to be reactionaries, effective stories about scrambled people being given the hatchet.

I tended to consider such vandalism as the prerogative of artists in England, but it is more widespread. Educators certainly tend to have a 'destructors' mode. Health care workers, those angels are maybe my biggest problem with England, just now.


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