Running Time: 127 minutes
Director: Tim Burton
Cast: Eva Green, Asa Butterfield, Chris O’Dowd, Allison Janney, Rupert Everett, Terence Stamp and Samuel L. Jackson
When Jacob discovers clues to a mystery that stretches across time, he finds Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. But the danger deepens after he gets to know the residents and learns about their special powers.
The last time I went to the cinema to see a Tim Burton and Eva Green feature, I realised 10 minutes in that I had made a huge mistake. Then I saw the trailer for Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and was excited but apprehensive as Burton’s track record the past few years hadn’t been great. But to my surprise the film was an absolute masterpiece and may be one of my favourite films of the year.
Adapted from the novel written by Ransom Riggs, the film focuses on the life of Jake Portman whose world is turned upside down by the mysterious death of his grandfather Abe. Upon the appointment of his psychiatrist, Jake travels to a small Welsh island where his grandfather grew up and in turn is introduced to the wonderful inhabitants of Miss Peregrine’s Home for the Peculiar. Jake immediately fits into this world but soon learns that there may be malevolent figures threatening the home and who may also be the reason for his grandfather’s death. The film features a star studded cast spear-headed by Asa Butterfield with Eva Green and includes Samuel L. Jackson, Judi Dench, Terence Stamp and the I.T Crowd’s Chris O’Dowd.
The film has been met with mixed reviews ahead of its October release but I believe that the film is the stepping stone for Burton’s classic style to return to its former glory. Throughout the film we see subtle nod’s to his previous work with the extravagant topiary in the orphanage’s garden worthy of Edward’s nifty hands, to the Jack Skeleton like creatures who threaten the orphanage. The cinematography throughout the picture is so very Burton, whose influences have always been from the German Expressionism era. The low lighting contrast suits the film really well especially when setting the scene for the gloomy, depressing island Jake travels to which contradicts the brightly coloured Florida suburbs that Jake comes from at the beginning of the film.
Although scary in parts, I do believe that this film is perfect for the younger Burton era who are used to films like The Hunger Games and the later Harry Potters. Some critics have said that the film may not be his most triumphant return but I disagree and hope Burton may have finally broke out of his funk.