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2009: The year in movies

By PETER KEOUGH  |  December 28, 2009

 

5. Where the Wild Things Are
Spike Jonze's adaptation of Maurice Sendak's picture book is the best in the recent renaissance of children's movies, using images, editing, music, sound, and a minimum of dialogue to re-create the inner life of a child. Young Max (Max Records) is lonely and angry, and there's nothing cute about it, especially when he runs away from home to the realm of the title. The wild things there are suspiciously like squabbling, neurotic grown-ups — they're not just projections of Max's rage, they're also his interpretation of the adult world around him. It's The Wizard of Oz with Max as the Wizard, and though there might be no place like home, it will never be the same again.

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