VIDEO: The trailer for Inkheart
How novel: a fantasy adventure for children that's not afraid of the dark while espousing the joys of the printed word, with nary a fart joke to be heard. ("Stinkfart," anyone?) Based on the German children's novel by Cornelia Funke, Iain (The Wings of the Dove) Softley's latest is better than you might expect given its January release (a time when studios purge less-than-stellar product).
Parents may not enjoy it as much as their kids, but if these worlds within words drive a child to read, something's gone right. And both kids and adults should appreciate the Oscar-winning talents of Helen Mirren and Jim Broadbent.
But the real stars of the movie are the under-appreciated Brendan Fraser and fetching newcomer Eliza Hope Bennett as Mortimer Folchart and his daughter, Meggie, who share not only a passion for books but also a gift for bringing characters to life when they read aloud. It's familiar, to be sure, but a nice diversion till Harry Potter's magic returns in May.