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Matilda- One of Roald Dahl's greatest books, teaching children a slightly wonky form of ethics. Though it has been a few years since I read the book I felt the film really did the book justice. Mara Wilson played the role to perfection, charming the audience with modest young sincerity.
The one small qualm I have with the movie is that it is set in America, when the book was set in the UK, but I don't feel like it massively takes away from the story. In true American style, the villainous Miss Trunchball is played brilliantly by British actress Pam Ferris.
Matilda is born to a family who don't love her, didn't want her, and don't appreciate her bright mind, preferring her to watch mindless TV than to read books. She dreams of going to school, though her father, a crook of a car sales man, makes her stay at home to accept packages containing stolen car parts.
Finally she is allowed to start school, but it is far from the haven of learning she dreamed of.
The school principle is the infamous Miss Trunchball, who punishes children for bad behaviour by throwing them by their pig tails over the school fence, forcing them to eat mountainous chocolate cakes, and locking in them in the 'Chokie', who seems to have in in for Matilda, predominantly because her father sold Miss Truchball a faulty car!
Juxtapositions is Matilda's form teacher, the lovely Miss Honey, who immediately spots and nurtures Matilda's talents. Whilst at school she discovers and nurtures a new power; telekinesis.
Matilda uses this power to punish Miss Trunchball for her bad ways.
Given how long ago the film was made the visual and audio qualities are unexpectedly high!
Matilda is an enjoyable comedy for all the family! It has slapstick comedy for the younger audiences (although truthfully everybody enjoys slapstick really), like the food fight in the corridor, and some more serious comedy for the older viewer.
The music fits perfectly into the film, building suspense, and tearing at the heart strings, and fantastically well written too!
I would recommend this film to anyone!
FILM ONLY REVIEW
One young actress I have always loved is Mara Wilson. I say young, though she is 23 now though it is her earlier 1990's films that I seem to have collected over the years. One of my favourite films starring Wilson is the 1996 film based on the book by Roald Dahl in 1988.
There are two ways to write this review, and two different opinions will form. The first, and the way that I am writing this review, is having never read the book before. I have tried a couple of times in the past to read the book though I am not actually a great fan of Roald Dahl which is funny considering I love the film! The second is writing the review from the point of view of someone who has previously read the book. Both opinions and views will differ as those who have read the book have something to compare it to, whereas I can review this film on its own merit.
A LITTLE GIRL WITH A BIG HEART
"Somewhere inside all of us is the power to change the world..."
Matilda is a young, sweet, and very intelligent little girl who lives with her parents and her nasty brother. None of her family take any notice of her and in the main, forget that she even exists. Matilda learns everything though books that she rents from the library. Her life remains like this until she asks her parents to send her to school. It is here she meets the worst principle in the world who has a habit of locking children in the choker cupboard. It seems that school may not be much more fun than home; that is until Matilda meets some lovely friends and a very special classroom teacher who takes Matilda under her wing. The cruelty of her parents and the principle, however, continue to make Matilda's life difficult and through her anger at them, she finds out that she has some very magical powers hidden deep within her. Soon, she learns to use her powers and starts to make changes to both her own life and the lives of those she loves most dear.
Matilda was originally wrote for children, and the film has a wonderful child-like quality to it, though do not be fooled into thinking that this is a film only for the children. This is a wonderful film for all the family. Not only does my three year old love it, but my eight year old sister does too (and not forgetting me and my husband!).
Matilda (the film) is not a new release by any means, and came out right back in 1996 though it is one of those films in which stays timeless.
The story is a perfectly simple story which one can watch without having to concentrate too much which is great for young children. It presents itself really well, full of excitement and colour which comes to be expected in films which star the young Wilson. I am not sure why, though for me, this film has a lovely Christmas film to it. It is not set around Christmas at all, though I think that as it comes on television around this time every year, and it being such a sweet and wonderful family film, in my mind it is a perfect one for the season. The story flows perfectly and continues to stay energetic throughout. There is not one dull moment at all during the whole story. It is certainly one I could watch over and over again (and have done!). There are some 'slightly scary' moments in the film which some younger children may feel a little scared of, though these moments are very light scary moments. My daughter did not feel scared at all, though my nephew who is the same age was a little frightened of the principle. On the whole, though, this is a fun-filled, exciting and magical film and certainly not one that tries to make the audience scared!
The story takes place mainly within Matilda's house and the school with some other relevant scenes. All the sets are perfect for the family film setting with some over-the-top scenery which fits perfectly into the story-line, making it even more the magical. And talking of magic, there is a lot of this within the film, and therefore there is a lot of special effects. These are all performed perfectly and you can really believe the magic is happening. Not only are the effects perfect, but the actors working alongside the effects make it all look so real. A mark of a real actor.
The ending is always a very important factor in a film in my opinion, as if the film is great yet the ending is a let-down, I always feel robbed and do not feel that it was worth my time watching it.
So how does the ending of this film compare?
Like with many family films, you can pretty much guess how the ending is going to pan out, yet as the film is so enticing and entertaining, it doesn't matter that you know the ending. In any case, the ending itself is perfectly timed and keeps in well with the energy and magic of the rest of the film. The whole storyline is rounded up perfectly and I found myself left with a pleasant and happy feeling when the credits started to role. I have seen this film, now, too many times to remember and each and every time is the same. The film is amazing, the ending is perfect, and I know I will want to watch it all over again soon after.
Matilda is rated a PG film for elements of exaggerated meanness and ridicule, and for some mild language.
This film was directed by Danny DeVito which is certainly a name I know for his roles in other films. As a director, he is not so well known to me though has directed a few titles such as War of the Roses and Taxi, neither of which I have seen so had nothing in the way of directing to compare him to. Roald Dahl is obviously the original writer of this story and an author, as already mentioned, that I am not keen on, though this story is certainly one of his better ones. The screenplay is written by Nicholas Kazan who has written a good many other films such as Bicentennial Man and Fallen.
When looking at the cast list for this film, my first thought was what a great cast list. Not only does Danny DeVito direct this film, he also stars alongside some great names. There is a large cast of extra's for the children in the school, though the main cast list is not a large one.
The main cast list includes;
Mara Wilson ... Matilda Wormwood
Danny DeVito ... Harry Wormwood / Narrator
Rhea Perlman ... Zinnia Wormwood
Embeth Davidtz ... Miss Jennifer 'Jenny' Honey
Pam Ferris ... Agatha Trunchbull
Wilson takes the lead role in Matilda and takes it on with her usual greatness. Her mischievous and sweet persona shines through perfectly in her role. Her ability to not only act her role alone and with others, but also to act opposite special effects which are not actually there in filming is amazing for someone so young at the time. I do not think I have seen a film starring Wilson that I did not enjoy, and she certainly does not fail to impress here.
DeVito is another excellent starring role within this film. His presence on screen makes all eyes follow him. He has excellently timed humour and takes his character to a whole new level. I can not see any other person filling this role quite as spectacularly as DeVito.
Perlman was an unusual one. I was not sure whether I liked her or not in her role, though she certainly was not awful. I think it was mainly her character in which I did not take to as opposed to her acting skills as she did seem to fulfil the role with the right amount of energy and spark. There was just something about her in which I did not like, something in which I can not put my finger on.
The nearly sickly-sweet character of Miss Honey was a perfect role for Davidtz as she seemed to fall right into her part. Her relationships with the other characters/actors really flowed well and the contrast of her role compared to others in the film worked brilliantly.
I absolutely love Ferris in roles I have seen her in, though when I originally saw Matilda, I did not actually know her. Even then, her characterisation shone through and bought evil for children into a whole new light. Her comic timing and perfect personalisation of the character really bought this character to life.
As you can see, the main cast list is very small though there are many other parts which, although a lot smaller, really do shine through. Jimmy Karz plays the small part of Bruce Bogtrotter though his character certainly has his starring parts and Karz really makes the most of these parts. Those who have seen the film will certainly remember Karz alongside a chocolate cake! Kiami Davael who plays Lavender is another young actor who really takes to the stage. Perhaps not as strong as her co-actors, though certainly a memorable performance. Jacqueline Steiger who plays Amanda Thripp is a wonderful little actor. Her almost shy presence works really well alongside Wilsons more outgoing persona.
Out of all the many child extras in the film, I can safely say that not one stood out as being terrible. They were not all as memorable as the ones mentioned, and many do not have any words or specific things to do except stand around and look pretty, though the choices for these children were all great ones none-the-less.
I feel that there were some prefect choices in the cast in this film and the great cast on top of the fantastic storyline really impressed.
Matilda is certainly a feel-good family film and is one in which I can watch over and over again. The cast list is brilliant and the story is perfectly filmed and flows wonderfully. The special effects are simple yet very effective and the cast opposite these effects work really well.
I would certainly recommend this film to both children and adults alike. If you have not seen it yet then put it on your Christmas film list this year!
This film is an adaptation of Roald Dahl's novel of the same name. It is classed as a fantasy style film and it was originally released in 1996. The film currently has a pretty respectable score of 6.6/10 from 18,560 votes on imdb.com.
The film is the story of a very intelligent, smart and sweet little girl named Matilda. She is very different from the rest of her family who neglect her and do not appreciate her talents. Her father, Harry (Danny DeVito), is a very dodgy used-car salesman , while her mother Zinnia (Rhea Perlman) leaves Matilda home alone so she can play bingo and tells her to watch the television like her older brother Michael.
She is very keen to go to school and read books but her parents do not think this is important. Eventually she convinces them to get her a place at a school. Once there she finds a horrible principal (Miss Trunchball), a sweet teacher (Miss Honey) and some good friends. Matilda's special powers are also discovered and she starts using them to help make her life better
I have managed to see the film a few times after it came out and it was one that I enjoyed watching even though I found Trunchball to be a bit scary initially. One of my favourite lines from the movie was :
Harry Wormwood: Listen, you little wiseacre: I'm smart; you're dumb; I'm big, you're little; I'm right, you're wrong, and there's nothing you can do about it.
The lines and general behaviour of some of the characters can be a bit mean and cruel at times especially for children and this was probably why it was given a PG rating on release.
The casting of the film was great. The lead character was played very well by young child star Mara Wilson who made the role her own. Danny De Vito played the role of uncaring parent well with Rhea Perlman. The two very contrasting teachers( Miss Trunchball and Miss Honey) were also played well by Pam Ferris and Embeth Davidtz.
One of the great lessons that Matilda learns is that children could punish their parents but only when they deserve it of course. She learns this after her father says :" When a person is bad, that person has to be taught a lesson! ". He meant to say child but this introduces a new idea for Matilda.
Overall this film is very good and a bit of a classic. It can be watched and enjoyed by the whole family (adults and children). It has moments of laughter and maybe ones that could make you more emotional as well.It is not completely true to the book and it is a bit Americanised but it is enjoyable nonetheless. I would give it a solid 4/5 stars.
Directed by: Danny DeVito
Roald Dahl (novel)
Narrated by: Danny DeVito
Release date: July 28, 1996
'When a person is bad, that person needs to be punished!' Replies Matilda, 'Person?' This opened up a whole new way of thinking to Matilda...
Matilda is one of those films that warms up the heart and inspires the imagination of even the most serious of grownups amongst us. This is a tale of a young girl who loses herself in the magic of childhood and the possibilities seem endless for a girl quite as talented as Matilda.
Matilda, based on the popular book written by Roald Dahl, was released onto film in 1996 and fast became a family favourite.
Matilda, played by Mara Wilson, is a bright little spark, a girl who finds herself feeling she doesn't quite fit into her family and somewhat misunderstood. Her crooked father, played marvellously by Danny DeVito, is a car salesman with a not so honest way to shift motors. Married to his high maintenance wife, played by Rhea Perman, who takes a rather distanced approach to parenting, the family are lazy through and through telly addicts.
Matilda becomes distance taking solace in reading, the authors become her closest friends as they tell stories of happily ever after and endless possibilities. Her love of reading and learning take her to being enrolled into school. Unfortunately for Matilda, this is not any school; it is Mrs Trunchball's School.
Mrs Trunchball has a very strict way of overseeing the school, children should be seen and not heard, those who dare defy her end up in the 'chokey'.
Matilda's adventure is a heart warming one, she makes friends and her kind teacher become ever more important to Matilda on her adventure of a lifetime. With a bit of encouragement, Matilda finds a rather unique and magical way of teaching her parents and her head teacher a lesson.
The film lasts 1 hour 34 minutes but keeps you hooked even through the scene in Mrs Trunchball's house which seemed to go on for longer than I feel it needed to. I found it easy to follow the whimsical storyline with interest and found some of the more 'out there' scenes to be hilarious and brought back the magic of being a kid. The acting is top notch, Danny DeVito plays his character with the same candid style he has in many films and in this film he really nailed the character.
Rated as a PG, I feel parents and children alike will enjoy this classic story, it brings out the child in all of us and bringing back fond memories of how imaginative and magical the world was when we were much younger. It does contain mild language but I can't say that I noticed this, I would be happy for my children to watch this film when they are older.
This film is one of my childhood favourites; the story comes alive on the screen and set of a flicker of hope and a warming smile. The film is simply magical and I look forward to sharing Matilda with my little girl when she is older. We recently purchased this film for £3.99 from Tesco, well worth the money in my eyes.
As a big fan of the Roald Dahl book, I was a little dubious as to whether this classic story could be made into a good film that stayed true to the original.
The story is about a young girl named Matilda who lives at home with her parents and brother who pay no attention to her whatsever and can't understand what pleasure she could possibly get from going to the library and reading books when she could get everything she needs from watching TV.
When they eventually enrol her in school a year to late she is quickley discovered as being very bright by her wonderfull teacher Miss Honey. In fact school would be wonderfull if it wasn't for the mean machine head teacher Miss trunchbull who terrorises the pupils (one of the best punishments is hammer throwing using a girls pigtails just because she hates plaits).
She also makes Miss Honeys life miserable, she is her aunt and when matilda finds out all the awfull things the trunchbull has done to Miss Honey like stealing her house and all her money, she vows to get rid of her once and for all.
Throughout the story Matilda discovers she has special powers which allow her to move things with the power of her mind. She uses this power to frighten the trunchbull by writing a message on the school blackboard from 'Miss Honeys father' telling her to leave her house and give her back her money. This obviously frightens the life out of her and she runs scared and frightend with the whole school watching her.
Matildas family are under investigation and on the verge of being busted so need to leave but Matilda stays with Miss Honey and they live happily ever after.
Matilda is a 1996 family film based on the book by the same name, written by Roald Dahl, directed by Danny DeVito.
Matilda is a fairly ordinary little girl living with parents who largely ignore her, and never quite seeming to gel with the rest of her family. One day she discovers the joy of reading, and takes to getting books from the local library , and it soon becomes apparent that Matilda is quite simply a genius, devouring books even an adult would struggle with at a rapid pace, She begs her parents to send her to school, and when her car salesman dad sells a car to Trunchbull, the principal of a local school, he decides to enrol Matilda there .
This is no ordinary school though - Trunchbulls rule is absolute, and she delights in making the children miserable and punishing them severely for the slightest misdemeanor . Clearly she has no love of children - in fact, she says that the perfect school is one where there are no children . Despite all this, Matilda manages to make friends at the school, and for the first time finds someone who is willing to nurture and encourage her intelligence - her class teacher, Miss Honey .
When the car Matilda's dad sold to the principal turns out to be a wreck, Trunchbull turns her bullying attentions to Matilda. At the same time, some speedboat salesman that Matilda is sure are cops are sniffing about the house, and Matilda learns that Miss Honey is related to the Trunchbull, and has suffered more than anyone at her hands .
One day, Matilda discovers she has a special power - she can move things with the power of her mind . How will she use this power to improve her life and those of others, and will Matilda ever have the loving nurturing home she desires .
Mara Wilson in the title role is perfect - angelic and cute, she is the perfect child stuck in the middle of a disfunctional family . She has an endless capacity for harmless mischief, and a determined personality, and she's a perfect bit of casting .
Danny DeVito is convincing as the slimy car salesman dad - bad tempered, slightly spivvy, and just a little bit dim . Rhea Perlman as the mum is tarty and lazy, lounging round the house all day chewing gum, and simply not caring much about what her kids are up to .
The real star of the show has to be Pam Ferris as Agatha Trunchbull though - big, butch, sweaty and certainly intimidating, she terrifies the small children completely, grunting and shouting at them, and taking an evil delight in making them suffer .
I enjoy this film immensely - Matilda was always one of my favourite books as a child, and this film sticks closely to the plot of the book . The one small criticism I can make is that the film is perhaps a little bit too American , but this is common with a lot of films . There are some great scenes, some accompanied by very good musical choices, and the film is a joy to watch .
My daughter is six, and she loves it . I'm 27, and I still love it , and watch it every time it is shown on TV . The DVD is available from £3.98 on amazon.co.uk, and I very much recommend it as an excellent family film .
5 stars .
As a child I devoured every Dahl book and I particularly liked Matilda, so as you can imagine when they made it into a movie I was annoyed as I didnt think you could make a movie that could take the essense of a Dahl book and make it work.
However I was wrong, the movie is lively, intelligent and has those strong messages that all Dahl books had for children AND adults.
The film centres around Matilda, a young girl that is neglected by her family and constantly left to her own devices. Out of boredom, she takes up reading and soon becomes a bookworm. When her father tells her to stop being such a smart alec (when she is able to work out a difficult sum in her head) he tells her that 'when a person is bad that person must be punished'. This lesson sets up the whole story where Matilda punishes her family when they are nasty to her. However when she is frced to watch TV against her will she discovers that she has powers of telekinises,
She is soon packed off to a rough school with a scary headmistress (the Trunchbull) where she is terrorised. Despite this grim beginning Matilda meets her teacher, Miss Honey, who gives her the nurturing that Matilda desperately needs. As the story goes on we find that Miss Honey had an awful childhood with physical abuse but she is still like a frightened child as her abuser was the Trunchbull, her aunt.
The team up together to drive out the Trunchbull and give each other the family they both always wanted.
All in all this is a good movie and although the plot sounds serious, they conve and tell it like Roald Dahl did, the bad things happen to good people and its confidence and will power to get your sef out of trouble. There is plenty of slapstick and laughs as well as frights and heart pounding moments (the Trunchbull charging around her house looking for Miss Honey ad Matilda stills gets me jiffly). Another user has commented that it didnt have enough adult innuendo to keep him interested but I dont think this needs it. We can all sympathise with Matilda, whether its from being scared of a teacher or the joy of realising that you are not alone.
Watch it and love it!
Matilda is a 1996 fantasy children's film that is an adaptation of the novel by Roald Dahl of the same name. It is 94 minutes long and rated PG due to some mild innuendos. Unfortunately, the film didn't even make more than its budget of $36 million at the box office.
Poor Matilda Wormwood doesn't get treat very well by her family. Her mother and father pretty much ignore her all of the time and the only times they pay any attention to her is when they want to be mean. Her parents favour her brother because they don't like the fact that Matilda is intelligent and creative.
As soon as Matilda was able to read, she had a huge interest in books and learning but her parents punished her for this by sending her to her room. She constantly begs to be allowed to go to school and on the day that her dad sells a used car to a principle of a school. When he realises she is an ex Olympic athlete and extremely hard going, he enlists Matilda at her school to try and teach her some discipline.
Although Matilda is very excited to be going to school, she realises that the principle, Miss Trunchbull is very mean and scares the majority of the students. Luckily, Matilda has a wonderful teacher in Miss Honey, who realises that she is very special and has extraordinary talents. Miss Honey tries to tell Miss Trunchbull and Matilda's parents just how special she is but no one wants to listen and Matilda realises that instead of getting mad, she needs to get even.
Matilda Wormwood - Mara Wilson
Harry Wormwood, Narrator - Danny DeVito
Zinnia Wormwood - Rhea Perlman
Jennifer 'Jenny' Honey - Embeth Davidtz
Agatha Trunchbull - Pam Ferris
Michael Wormwood - Brian Levinson
FBI Agent Bob - Paul Reubens
FBI Agent Bill - Tracey Walter
Lavender Brown - Kiami Davael
Amanda Thripp - Jacqueline Steiger
Hortensia - Kira Spencer Hesser
Bruce Bogtrotter - Jimmy Karz
- A children's guide to good manners
- Matilda the movie character gallery
- Trivia game
- Maths Game
- The spelling bee
I used to love Roald Dahl's books as a child and I'm yet to find one of the books made into a film that has disappointed me. Matilda isn't my favourite adaptation, but I still really liked it. What I especially love about the films is the way that they show the magical side of things so well while trying to keep as close to the original story as possible. Of course, some things have been changed or missed out in Matilda but we cant expect everything from a film can we?
Pam Ferris is absolutely fantastic as Miss Trunchbull, even though she is pretty scary at times. I'm 23 and she still scares me so I can only imagine the impression she gives to little kids but the good thing about her is that she manages to be funny at the same time. This was one of my favourite books as a child and I think the film makers managed to portray her quite accurately.
I was quite sad to learn that the actress who plays Matilda, Mara Wilson, hasn't really done much since 2000. I loved everything about her performance in this film and for once, which is quite rare, nothing bugged me about her. Wilson is extremely enchanting in her role and had me routing for her from the very start of the film. I know I knew the story before hand but you know anything can happen when a book becomes a film. The mix between Mara Wilson, Pam Ferris and Embeth Davidtz is wonderful to watch and they have a great chemistry between them.
The story is extremely fun with magical elements which makes it easily watchable for both adults and children. I would only be wary of letting really young children watch this because of some scary scenes but otherwise it is a fantastic family film. Matilda also teaches a great lesson about good vs. evil and that it always pays off to be nice.
If you liked this film, read the book as it is even better!!
Such a classic film, based on a classic book!
Matilds is an extraordinarily smart little girl, who discovers she has powers that she can use to her advantage. Born into a family of cheats and uncaring parents, Matilda turns to books for comfort. When she begins school, she amazes her teacer, Miss Honey, at her ability to do large sums instantly. The gentle teacher takes a shine to her, and the two become close friends. The headteacher, however, at Crunchem Hall, is Miss Trunchball. She is a hideous and nasty woman, who throws naughty children into the chokey (a tiny cupboard will nails and bits of glass sticking out from the walls). At one point she swings a pupil so fast by the pigtails that when she lets go, the girl goes flying over the school fence.
Matilda soon discovers that Miss Honey has a terrifying secret which means that they must both work hard together to get rid of it!
A truly magical adventure, this film is perfect who anyone who loves a happy ending!
'Matilda' is a children's film based on a book by a famous author called Roald Dahl. This popular book was turned into a children's comedy film in 1996 by a well know director, Danny DeVito. The film is very well known all across the country with children aged 4-7.
'Matilda' has a spectacular plot, it is very tense at times, but yet, it is still a comedy. The films starts with an extremely talented child with special powers, called Matilda, being unloved and neglected from a baby. When Matilda became a little older, her parents started to leave her alone at her house while her mum Zinia Wormwood went to BINGO, her father Harry Wormwood went to work as an illegal car sales man, and her Brother Michelle went to school, but this was only at the age of 4. However, Matilda did like this because while they were all out, she went to the library and indulged in one of her favourite hobbies, reading. After she became 7 she was desperate to attend school, her parents denied her this until her father made a deal with head teacher Miss Trunchbull, she got a car and in return he got some money and Matilda was able to attend Miss Trunchbull's school. However the school was not at all what she expected, Miss Trunchbull, the head teacher, mistreated the pupils, she looked them in a tiny cubored all day, but In this cubored was sharp pieces of metal and glass sticking out of the walls, she called it the 'Chockey'. But it is true what they say, to every thing bad; there is something good, in this case, Miss Honey. She was Matilda's teacher and was very loving and kind to her; this is why Matilda used her powers to get back some of Miss Honey beloved items from Miss Trunchbull's house one night, but when Miss Trunchbull realises that Matilda did it, is there anything that can save her?
The characters in 'Matilda' couldn't be any more different from each other, Matilda's mum and dad, played by Rhea Perlman and Danny DeVito, who are mean to Matilda, they make her watch television when she truly wants to read, her father said, 'There's nothing you can get from books that you can't get faster from T.V' .He also rips some of her books that she loves so much, accuses her of cheating, and never gives her the attention she needs. However, Matilda gave just as good as she got when she turned her dad's hair blonde and glued it to his hat (which pulled most of his hair out), and when Matilda was locked in the Chockey, she scared Miss Trunchbull out of her own house! So it is clear that Matilda, even though was denied love as a child, was very, very, talented and bright, she also knew how to get her own back on some of those horrible people, but only with of course the help of her powers! Danny DeVito has written the script like this because he wants the audience to sympathize with Matilda, but he has also made Matilda get her own back, this makes the audience also feel that Matilda is not a week little girl, so they like her more, this is because they feel like she can stand up for herself. Miss Jennifer Honey was also neglected as a child, when her father, Magnus, died when she was only 3, and her not having a mother, after also dying when Miss Honey was young, Miss Trunchbull took on the duty of being Jennifer's guardian, and as you can imagine she got very neglected, Miss Trunchbull even broke Miss Honey's arm! This makes the audience like Miss Honey; this is because they feel that even though she had to spend most of her childhood with an evil woman, she still turned out a wonderful, kind lady. It also makes the audience dislike Miss Trunchbull because she was so mean to the more likable characters.
The non-verbal communication in 'Matilda' is very well thought of, Miss Trunchbull always carry a frown and an evil look in her eyes; she never makes an effort to look good, she is always wearing a plain black outfit, her hair always looks un-tidy and she never wears make-up, this all helps to make her more angry, stressed, strong, and man like. Danny DeVito has done this to make the audience feel more scared of Miss Trunchbull, this means they like her even less. On the other hand, Miss Honey is the complete opposite, she is always smiling and looks happy, her hair is always neat, she wears light make-up, this means her face has more colour and personality to it and she always wears light colourful dresses. All of these things put together make Miss Honey feel light and fresh, this makes the audience think she is kind and loving, resulting in them liking her more.
The music in 'Matilda' helps to set the scenes in all the different chapters of the film, for example, when Matilda had finally learned how to control her powers, she had a little fun with them, she decide that she would make playing cards fly around a room and flicker the lights, Danny DeVito has made the scene more light hearted and fun because of the happy and fast music, it also make you want to have those powers for yourself to play with, this makes the audience see the fun side of Matilda. However, the music can be used to make a character seem more nasty, like Miss Trunchbull. Miss Trunchbull carries a strong, tense, fast music around with her, Danny DeVito has done this to help Miss Trunchbull betray a more nasty character, and it also makes the audience feel tenser when she is around, this resulting in the audience not likening her around. When Miss Honey is around, there is usually no music or very light music this is because it sets a very natural and fresh atmosphere, it also helps Miss Honey feel more innocent, this means the audience likes to have Miss Honey around, unlike miss Trunchbull!
In chapter 10 of 'Matilda', Danny DeVito has used quiet a lot of close up camera shots. Using close up shots, make to atmosphere feel tenser because it focuses on the person in the frame and nothing else, this makes the audience aware that some thing is about to happen to that person, this making them tenser because they are not sure when something is going to happen. Danny DeVito has also used a bird's eye view shot in this chapter, he used it when Matilda was arriving at her new school for the first time, he let the audience see only the front arch of the school so they had to wait to see what it was actually like, he also let the audience see the reaction on Matilda's face, although she looked surprised, this means that she could have been surprised at how nice it looks or how horrid it looks so it makes the audience want to see the school even more, But Danny DeVito has made you feel excited to see it, so when the audience see what it looks like, they are disappointed and feel even more sorry for Matilda.
Like all films Matilda has good and bad points. The ending to the film is spectacular, who could of predicted that Matilda would live the life she always dreamed of, she went through so many bad things with her parents and Head Master Miss Trunchbull, and at the end of the film, Matilda's parents move away from Miss Honey who Matilda loves so much, but yet she couldn't ever be happier! The camera shots in 'Matilda' are all excellent to; Danny DeVito has used the right shots at the right time, this resulting in tenseness when he wants it and relief from tenseness when he wants it. But of course it does have a few small parts which could use in proving, at the start of the film it may seem confusing to small children, because the audience doesn't know where the family is and what they are doing because they are picking Matilda up from some where then she has been put in the boot of their car and forgotten about, to young children, this may become a little confusing. Also, there are several occasions where we don't know if Matilda has done things with her powers or it is just by chance, like when their television blew up, Matilda was staring at it, so did Matilda blew it up or was it just by chance? Other than that, there aren't any things than can be improved on.
In conclusion, 'Matilda' is a superior film with great amusement to it. 'Matilda' has many fine points to it, and has only a few small bad points. It really is a must see family film, and is perfect for a rainy day and even a good day! The director of the film, Danny DeVito, has made a wonderful film out of a great book by Roald Dahl. All of the cast on 'Matilda' are very talented and Danny DeVito is extremely talented, he wrote the script, directed the film and played Matilda's father. Matilda really is a spectacular film and adds that hint of magic to life!
The film, Matilda, made in 1996 is based on the fabulous book of the same name by Roald Dahl. We had the film quite a few years ago on video but I have just acquired it on DVD for my two daughters thinking that it would make very good family viewing. It certainly does but as I discovered from my four year old, it can also be a bit scary as I will explain.
First, let me tell you a little bit about the story. The Matilda in question is Matilda Wormwood who from the very moment she is born appears a little different to the rest of their family. Her mum and dad and her brother are all uncouth, self centred, love television and are probably none too clever. On the other hand, Matilda is thoughtful and clever and loves nothing more than reading a good book. Her parents can't even remember how old she is which means that she does not start school until much later than she should. When she does start school, she is sent to a school that is ruled with a rod of iron, by the fearsome principal, Agatha Trunchbull. The school would be terrible apart from the fact that Matilda's teacher is the beautiful, kind and aptly named Miss Honey.
The story gets very interesting when Matilda discovers that she has magic powers which means that she can move things without touching them. This comes in very helpful in exacting revenge on the people who have caused her so much grief - her family and Miss Trunchbull! All of the above help contribute to a fun, slapstick and zany film that should be enjoyed by all - or so I thought!
My elder daughter who is nearly six really enjoyed it and appreciated all the funny bits. However, for my younger daughter who is four and a quarter, Miss Trunchbull was just too scary and even had her in tears! I have to say that she does do some really awful things to her students such as swinging them around by their pigtails, locking them in the 'chuckie' or even force feeding them an entire massive chocolate cake. She also does have an incredibly frightening persona! Adults and most older children will recognise very quickly that Miss Trunchbull is just a caricature and the horrible things that she does are really rather funny. However, I hadn't appreciated that younger children would not see this and just be scared by her. We did manage to reassure Natalie by pointing out that Matilda was not scared of Miss trunchbull though, and she did manage to make it through to the end of the film (albeit peeping out from behind a cushion) which was most reassuring as, this being a children's film, was bound to have a happy ending!
There are some really good performances in this film especially from the actress who played Matilda. She is Mara Wilson who was quite prolific as a child actor but does not seem to have done much since 2000. Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman are brilliant as Matilda's parents and play the ignorant uncaring couple with gusto! Embeth Davidtz is elegant and beautiful and entirely suited to the role of the lovely Miss Honey and I think I have already illustrated how convincing Pam Ferris (Agatha Trunchbull) is at playing the nasty cruel principal.
This is a really fun film with a great storyline for children particularly as the good people do eventualy get the better of the nasty ones. It's all narrated by Danny DeVito which helps to construct and move the story along well. I do still think that it is a good family film and I'm sure that if my four year old brings herself to watch it again she will not find it so scary. It does have a PG rathing though so I definitely would not let younger ones watch it on their own.
We have the Widescreen Collectors' edition so there are many extras as you would expect. These include:
My Movie about making Matilda by Mara Wilson - which is very interesting to see from a child's perspective
A Children's Guide to Good Manners!
Make Magic with Matilda
and some interactive games for maths and spelling as well as a fun one for trying to get rid of Miss Trunchbull.
The girls have enjoyed looking at and playing some of these.
We recently bought our DVD from play.com for ony £3.99 which I thought was excellent value!
Matilda happens to still be one of my favourite movies ever. I remember watching this way back in the day, back in 1996. Now at 21 i find myself rumaging around for it.
You couldn't help but feel sorry for poor Matilda (played fantastically by Mara Wilson). It didn't help being born to two of the most foul-mouthed parents ever and having an older brother being favoured over her. It seems that right from an early age Matilda was a very intelligent little girl. She took an instant liking to reading from the age of 4 and quickly showed signs of being a very smart little girl.
Throughout the film we see her parents neglect Matilda and constantly punish her for being 'smart'. Whilst her father Harry (Danny Devito) sells dodgy cars for extortionate prices, her mother Zinnia (Rhea Perlman) chooses to stay at home unemployed, watching TV or playing Bingo - not the best role models for young children. Matilda on the other hand couldn't be any different she begs her parents to send her to school and finally gets her wish when her father sells her to-be principal Agatha Trunchbull a dodgy car.
Miss Trunchbull isn't the sweetest of Principals, quite the reverse. She terrorises all her pupils, which Matilda soon learns about from new friends.
I particularly love the beautiful chemistry between Matilda and her teacher Miss Honey. Miss Honey is a genuine kind lady she adores all her pupils. She is especially taken with the bright girl on her first day at school when she shows her intelligence on her maths. Miss Honey cant quite believe how fast this child can add numbers and thinks shes a genius. And soon learns just how incredibly magical Matilda can actually be.
There are lots of classic moments in this films. When wrongly accused of putting a newt in a glass of water to prank her principal, Matilda doesn't think twice about using her powers to deliver some pay back on her evil teacher. Which is quite hilarious. There are also some very touching scenes between the two including one of Miss Honey sharing a story with Matilda about her childhood, she had a wicked Aunt who was very cruel to her when both her parents died. It was quite surprising when the story revealed Miss Trunchbull herself was indeed her Aunt.
I really enjoy how Matilda learns and practises her 'powers' to get revenge on the grown-ups that wronged her. As the story unfolds, you long for Matilda to have an happy ending after years of neglection. I wont spoil what happens towards the end but i find it the most touching heart-warming ending.
Generally I am not really a fan of films that come from books.This is not too bad and me and the kids are quite fond of it and have watched it quite a few times.
Matilda is a tale of how a special little girl is ignored by her parents, Harry and Zinnia.Her dad is a corrupt used car salesman and mum a bingo obsessed T.V addict, they fail to notice that Matilda is a genius who has taught herself to read and write to a level far beyond her years and she has also developed powers directed from her anger towards her painful existence..
Eventually Matilda gets the opportunity to go to school and ends up at Crunchem Hall run by the gruesome Miss Trunchbull, played by Pam Ferris(Darling buds of May).This beast of a headmistress hates children and does nothing to hide the fact .Luckily for Matilda there is a light at the end of the tunnel in the form of Miss Honey.
The main story concentrates on the relationship that develops between Miss Honey and Matilda, which is very cute and cuddly indeed,and how they overcome there fears and make their dreams come true.
Danny Devito's vision of Matilda is different from the book for a start it is based in America and this in itself makes it interesting as the characters are real stereotypical Americans,Devito directs and stars in this easy going family comedy with the usual Roald Dahl twists and turns left in for good measure.
In the film, a clever girl is held back by her silly parents who don't care about her. She is ignored and escapes to read everday. She starts to exercise her mind and develops special powers. Matilda is sent to a school with a horrible headteacher.
The cast does a good job but can be annoying at certain parts of the film. The directing is ok but some of the scenes go on for two long. Some others, also are too short. The film is funny in places and also includes some action. The story is very easy to understand so everyone will be able to watch. It can be enjoyed by the whole family and can be watched over and over again before it gets boring.
The sound and picture quality of the DVD is great. The DVD contains many extras features. The behind the scenes features and the commentaries are informative and worth a watch. It also includes a good read along story for littles ones to enjoy.
All in all, this film is very enjoyable and is entertaining for the whole family. However, some scenes go on for too long and the cast can become annoying in places.
A fantastic film for both kids and adults a like. This film is based on the book with the same name by Roald Dahl. The film is a mixture of Dahl's fantastic plot and creativity, and the detailed production efforts of Danny DeVito.
At the beginning of the film, the Wormwoods. Mr and Mrs Wormwood (played by DeVito) who spend their self-absorbed lives watching TV and eating TV dinners for one. They have one son, who Mr Wormwood is grooming to take over the dodgy car selling business, and their youngest daughter Matilda.
Matilda turns out to be a gifted child, and although she is ignored by her mean and selfish family, turns out to be an intelligent, sweet child, with an extraordinary gift for moving objects with her mind.
Throughout the film, we meet an array of characters, the evil Miss Trunchball, who terrorizes the kids at school, Miss Honey the sweet and loving 1st grade teacher and the interesting kids at Matilda's school.
Matilda uses her imaginative gift to get her own back on the adults who have wronged her and her friends - including some extremely hilarious scenes including hats and superglue, her dad's hair and a bottle of bleach, and a lizard in a jug of drinking water.
A really nice, heart-warming children's film, that will be enjoyed by adults as well. I fully recommend the book as well - absolutely fabulous!!
Danny DeVito's adaptation of the Roald Dahl book for children is mostly just fine, helped along quite a bit by the charming performance of Mara Wilson (Mrs Doubtfire) as the eponymous young Matilda, a brilliant girl neglected by her stupid, self-involved parents (DeVito and Rhea Perlman). Ignored at home, Matilda escapes into a world of reading, exercising her mind so much she develops telekinetic powers. Good thing, too: sent off to a school headed by a cruel principal, Matilda needs all the help she can get. DeVito takes a highly stylized approach that is sometimes reminiscent of Barry Sonnenfeld (director of Get Shorty, a DeVito production), and his judgement is not the best in some matters, such as letting the comic-scary sequences involving the principal go on too long. But much of the film is delightful and funny.--Tom Keogh