Last-minute switch on films-per-day September plans. All my upcoming selections were like 3+ hours long. Didn't have time last night!
So I watched a kid movie. Well, a movie about a... kid, which was Rated R... for some reason. Maybe the torture?
Pan's Labyrinth (El Laberinto del Fauno)
dir. Guillermo del Toro. 2006, Spain/Mexico.
Sight & Sound 2012: Critics' #588 (2 votes)
Roger Ebert's Great Movies ... Sight & Sound essay
DVD from Amazon [Blu-Ray]
Watch via Amazon Instant / iTunes
Pan's Labyrinth trailer (2006)
I'd started this movie a couple of times before, and don't really know why I never got further. The insectoid fairy shapeshifter guide works well, the faun is pretty wild, magical portals are always a plus - the fable portion keeps moving along sprightly. A good mix of cliché classics and original ideas.
The human actors perform well, but for whatever reason... As much as I hate fascists, I never got too caught up in the El Capitan-guerillas conflict. The family drama was definitely fine as a back-story. Really though, outside of the item-gathering quest-line, I cared most about the double-agent infiltrators.
The special effects and design were often really nice - the faun, the mandrake root, the Pale Man I guess he's known as. A good-looking film! It was an interesting touch to match up the creepy menace of the unknown magical realm with the very real dangers of a sadistic torturer ruling over your house.
I suppose maybe I was hoping for something more, or expected it to be more in my wheelhouse. Occasionally I'd really get pulled out of the world, like with reading the newspaper report about D-Day. And especially when Ofelia explains the grapes with nothing more than "I thought no-one would notice." Yeah.
Overall, good enough to give it another shot - definitely possible that it just suffered from the (recent) 'competition.'