Smofbabe's Life and Times - Oz the Great and Powerful
Oz the Great and Powerful|
This prequel to The Wizard of Oz about a so-so carnival magician and con man who ends up as the powerful wizard and ruler of Oz has great production design and really impressive opening credits. However, I can't say as much for the script or the acting. They obviously were trying for melodrama and period dialogue but for that to work with today's audience, the actors themselves have to believe in it and sell it. Mila Kunis and Rachel Weisz as the two wicked witches are ok but Michelle Williams as Glinda is wimpy and to quote my favorite film reviewer, Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times about Franco's con man: "While having Franco start out this way is intentional, the actor is frankly too adept at being irritating, so much so that his presence makes it harder to enjoy the rest of the movie." Because of Franco's unceasing hamming it up, the sincere moments that this story of personal growth needs to really work just aren't believable.
I didn't even like the production design, but yeah, such a bad script. The very sincerity of the melodrama worked against it, I think. It should have been much more artificial and arch. Or something. It should have been aware that the film itself is a big con job.