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Never heard of this before but I was just wanting a chick flick type film to watch, and came across it. I actually found it surprisingly good.
There are two sisters, Gillian and Sally Owens who turn into orphans after their parents both fall victim to the curse that afflicts Owens' women - whenever they fall in love their husband will die. They are both sent to their aunts who are witches and live as outcasts in their small town who shun magic. Eventually Sally gets tired of small town life and runs away, but Gillian stays there and then falls victim to a true love spell she cast on herself and it backfires. She had hoped that it would rid her of the curse, but instead she finds the perfect man, marries him and has kids with him and then he dies. So she goes back to her aunts but this time swearing off magic, will she ever find another man? And what will happen to Sally?
I thought that this was very good acting, Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock were a very good combination, albeit not one I'd thought of before. The only thing I'd point out was that they played them for the whole film from being a teenager to being married and they looked the same! You could really believe they were sisters though, they seemed to have good chemistry and a bond. I liked it because it was a bit different to your usual chick flick, it still involved romance but it had fantasy in which I thought was a good combination and they should be making more films like it! You can get it from amazon for £2.99 which I think is a total bargain.
Practical magic was actually released in 1998 and I actually saw it at the cinema at the time. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed this film however until it was shown on TV the other day.
Practical is a story of the women in the Owen's family, in particular the two sisters Gillian (played by Nicole Kidman) and Sally (played by Sandra bullock). The women in the Owen's family were all witches and had an unfortunate curse on them that meant any man they loved would meet a tragic death. Gillian and Sally were orphaned at an early age when the curse attacked their father and their mother died of a broken heart.
Growing up in the family home with their two aunts they learnt to do magic and Sally, determined never to be hurt the way her mother was , makes a spell for the perfect man. He has to have one blue eye and one green, be able to ride a horse backwards and has to be able to hear her call from miles away. Sally thinks this man could never exist and therefore she would never be heartbroken.
Years later Sally is married with two daughters of her own when her husband meets a tragic end and she moves back home with the aunts, although this time she bans any magic in front of her daughters; she never wants them to learn what she knows.
Gillian was the wild sister and moved from town to town and man to man. When she calls Sally in the middle of the night to help her escape her drunk and violent boyfriend, Jimmy, they end up accidentally killing him. When their attempts to bring him back to life with magic go horribly wrong they are left to bury his body in the garden of their aunts house.
It seems Jimmy is not going to rest in peace however and mysterious things start happening around the house, causing the two sisters concern, particularly when a policeman , Gary, turns up looking for Jimmy.
Funny thing is though that Gary has one blue eye and one green and can ride a horse backwards.....could this be a sign?!
The thing I love about practical magic is that it is an easily watched romantic film but with a difference. It has some hilarious moments, I particularly love the midnight margarita scene where they all dance around their blender and it also has some really heartwarming moments, especially between the two sisters. It also has the drama and the action , some scenes of Jimmy's ghost might be a little disturbing for young kids, but I think apart from that it is a good family film.
Ultimately it is fun to watch, no matter how many times you see it, and makes you smile throughout.
Now i'm just left looking for my man with one blue eye and one green......
FILM ONLY REVIEW
Sally and Gillian are small girls when their mother and father die, the father from an old family curse and their mother from a broken heart, they go to live with the Aunts Fran and Jet and soon learn of their magical powers.
When the girls are grown up they are very different, Sally is quiet and wants to live a normal life without magic and find love whereas Gillian is a wild child who wants excitement and fun. Gillian moves out and finds herself a man who is also wild and loves to drink and party. Sally stays with her Aunts and soon finds love in their small town and gets married. She goes on to have 2 girls but soon the family cures comes back and her husband dies. She has a hard time trying to get over the death but when a call from Gillian comes she has no choice.
Gillian is in trouble as her boyfriend ahs turned nasty and so Sally goes to rescue her but trouble starts and they end up killing him. They have to decide whether to use their powers to bring him back from the dead or dispose of his body. What can the girls do to cover this up and what will happen when the police come looking? Can the girls ever break the family curse and find true love?
I really don't know why I have never seen this film before and it seemed just like my sort of film. The storyline was good and not overly far fetched as we did not have lots of magic and the witches tried to live a normal quiet life. I found that the way the magical element was bought across made it seem like it could be possible and witches could be living among us.
The role of Sally was played by Sandra Bullock and she did a great job. I enjoyed seeing her go through so many emotions and grow throughout the film. She came across as genuine and I was able to warm to her straight away. She was so different from her sister Gillian, played by Nicole Kidman and I think this is why the film worked so well. Nicole played the role of Gillian very well and I loved seeing her being crazy and rebellious. She was strong and hard for the majority of the film but I did like the way she got vulnerable and had to turn to her sister.
We had some good supporting roles and the one which I enjoyed were those of the Aunts, played by Stockard Channing and Dianne West, they bought a element of fun to the film as they were both eccentric and did not care what people thought of them. I found the scene when they were all on the tequila to be very funny and this did make me chuckle. Other supporting role included, Aidan Quinn, Goran Visnjic and Evan Rachel Wood, they were a good and mix group which gave the storyline some depth.
The film was set in a small town in America and I found the way this was shown to be good, I liked how everyone knew everything about everyone else and how the children were scared of the old Aunts and called them witches despite knowing that they actually were, this showed just how small minded some people can be. The sets and scenery were lovely and well made and I did not notice any badly added backdrops or sets. We had a good few special effects in the film and they were all very well made. They fitted into the film very well and did not look out of place. I loved the basic and simple ways in which the spells were shown to be cast as they were not over the top with massive explosions and bangs as this for me would have looked unrealistic. The music was good but not excellent and none of the tracks really stood out for me.
As this is a film only review there are no bonus features to talk about. The running time of this film is 103 minutes and I found this to be a good length. The certificate is a 12 and I think this is appropriate as there are some dark scenes which are not suitable for children to see.
The film can be bought on DVD for just a few pounds and I think it is worth this. I give this film a good 4/5 stars as I really did enjoy it. We had great acting and good storyline and it was made to be more normal than magical which worked so well.
Movie: Practical Magic
Running time: 103 minutes
Director: Griffin Dunne
Country: United States
Sandra Bullock as Sally Owens
Nicole Kidman as Gillian Owens
Stockard Channing as Frances Owens
Dianne West as Bridget Owens
Goran Visnjic as James Angelo
The story Practical Magic
The story Practical Magic is about the family Owens who consists out two aunts called Frances and Bridget and their nieces Sally and Gillian. The family has always been outsides in the village they live in, what goes back to family member Maria Owen, many years ago. She was accused of being a witch and the villagers decided to burn her, but she managed to escape, so she saved herself but also her unborn child. To take revenge on the villagers she cursed all men who would fall in love with a women of the Owens family and would eventually even die. The movie continues with the two aunts who are taken of Sally and Gillian. Their father died due the curse and their mother died of a broken heart. The two grow up discovering their witch powers. Gillian is the one who wants to see the world, but Sally rather say behind and start her own life and starts a family. But both have their own problems and are soon reunited again, but the curse is still hunting them as well as some other problems!
The actors in this movie are good, which is no surprise really since Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock are in this movie. Sandra Bullock plays the part of Sally Owens. Sandra Bullock is a famous actor who I loved in her last movie The Blind Side. But in this movie she's also very good. Sally is the one who stays behind to start a family and doesn't want her children to be involved with magic. Her sister Gillian is very different and is enjoying her life travelling. Gillan is being played by Nicole Kidman and even that they don't look like sisters, butthey are still believable. There's a connection between them, which makes it believable. I really enjoyed the acting and both Nicole and Sandra prove that they can act!
There are a few extras on the DVD which I thought weren't really worth watching. You got commentary of the director, producer and actor Sandra Bullock, which is the most interesting on the DVD. But further on there are more small extras.
The first time I saw this movie has been many years ago, but I certainly enjoyed the movie. I liked the whole idea of magic, but unfortunately this movie is more about the life of the sisters together. Luckily it's not a serious movie and there's more then enough humour to make you laugh. It's mostly a easy movie to watch with the whole family. I watch this movie again because Sandra Bullock plays in this movie and as I said I loved her in her last movie. The acting is good and both Sandra and Nicole really star in this movie. Even they don't look like sisters, they still make it believable. Practical Magic is a nice funny movie to watch with the whole family.
Practical Magic is a lovely tale based on a book by the same name, however if you have read the book and are expecting the movie to be a true adaptation of it, think again. The movie and the book are two completely different entities and for my money I would say that this is one of the rare adaptations where the movie is most definitely better than the book in nearly every way.
The story takes place around two sisters who are as different as can be, but are binded by an unbreakable bond and a family cures that threatens to destroy them.
I loved the way the main characters were portrayed. The sisters Sally and Gillian are played by Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman and have wonderful chemistry together, they both seem to sparkle with wit and humor while not losing the story. They are joined by the batty old aunts Francis and Jet, played by Stockard Channing and Dianne Weist they bring a wonderful eccentricity, particularly during the insane kitchen dancing scene.
As the title suggests the movie does include as sprinkling of magic but as it is cleverly woven into the story in a very mundane way so it doesn't intrude too much and is far more believable than it could have been. This is one of the few things that have been taken from the book, so don't expect lots of special effects because although they are there they are nearly all understated.
I would definitely put this movie firmly into the chick flick category as it has very little to recommend it the a male audience but if you've got an evening to yourself this and want to indulge in girlyness then this would be an excellent movie for you.
Practical Magic is a family fantasy film that was released in 1998 and was based on the book of the same name by Alice Hoffman. It is rated 12 due to some minor violence, some fantasy horror and a few uses of bad language. Practical Magic is 100 minutes long.
The Owens family are witches and the Craft has been passed down for generations but so has a curse. If any Owens woman finds true love with a man, he will die tragically and that is exactly what happened to sisters, Gillian and Sally's father. As a child, Sally put a spell on herself that the man she will fall in love with will have a lot of strange traits, thinking that this man will never exist.
The sisters have always been close so when Gillian's boyfriend starts causing her trouble, she calls Sally for help. The girls accidentally kill him and when they both return home, the police come calling.
At the same time, Gillian and Sally's aunts have cast a spell so that Sally will find true love so that her and her two daughters can finally be happy again but will it all end in sadness and heartbreak again?
Sandra Bullock - Sally Owens
Nicole Kidman - Gillian Owens
Stockard Channing - Aunt Frances Owens
Dianne Wiest - Aunt Bridget 'Jet' Owens
Goran Visnjic - James 'Jimmy' Angelov
Aidan Quinn - Officer Gary Hallet
Camilla Belle - young Sally Owens
Evan Rachel Wood - Kylie Owens
Alexandra Artrip - Antonia Owens
Mark Feuerstein - Michael
Lora Anne Criswell - young Gillian Owens
- Interactive menus
- Scene Access
- Making Magic
- Casting the spell
- TV Spot
- Commentary from various people
I wasn't really sure what to expect when I first saw this film. Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman aren't two actresses that I would ever have thought to put together in a film but they worked really well as a team and as sisters.
Nicole Kidman is quite well known for playing romantic roles and normally plays some boring characters for me but I think this role was something really different for her. I loved her character, Gillian because she was really fun and didn't care what anyone else thought of her. It was very entertaining to see her play someone different and it really bumped her up in my list of favourite actresses after this film.
Sandra Bullock is very well known for playing the nice girl in Rom-coms and I thought she was the same in Practical Magic. Her character, Sally, tried to something different but failed in my eyes. I thought Sally was quite boring compared to Gillian and didn't bring the charisma to the role that Nicole Kidman did. She was alright, but she wasn't fantastic.
The two aunts, played by Dianne West and Stockard Channing were the best parts of this film. Much like Sally and Gillian's characters, Aunt Frances and Jet have a great sisterly love for each other and their nieces. As witches should be, they were both funny and quite weird and eccentric.
There weren't a lot of special effects considering this is a fantasy film but what there was, was excellent. I think it was the little touches that made this film so good, especially when the witches are casting some spells and having fun around the cauldron. None of the spells were particularly scary or harmful and it was mostly just a bit of fun (and laziness sometimes). I think if I were a witch, I wouldn't bother using my hands to use cutlery if I didn't have to.
Practical Magic is quite slushy most of the time but it has some nice twists in the story. I really liked the fact that the towns people were very sceptical about witches and it linked in well with the story of Sally and Gillian's mother. This film does appeal mostly to women because of the amount of romance and niceness and I can't see too many men liking it.
Practical Magic DVD
Genre:- Romantic Comedy
Director:- Griffin Dune
Release date:- UK 22nd January 1999 (Source IMDB)
Currently available on Amazon for £4.98
Synopisis:- The Central plotline revolves around two sisters (Sally - Sandra Bullcok and Gillian Owens - Nicole Kidman), who come from a long established family of witches.
The story commences in the distant past where a Pregnant "Aunt Maria" is due to be hanged as with by the local Townsfolk, but Maria harness's her witchy powers and the noose breaks, Maria is then banished to an island near the town to live out the rest of her days in Solitude, Maria becomes increasingly angry at her Lover who did nothing to stop her fate and curses all men that fall in love with an Owens woman to die.
Through Flashbacks we see that This Curse remains a powerful and unbroken one and when Sally and Gillian's mother dies from a broken heart following her Husbands death, the two girls are sent to live with their Great Aunts, two lively spinsters played by Dianne West (Jet Owens) and Stockard Channing (Fran Owens). The Aunt's attitude is on of playfulness and embracing magic, stating that in this house we eat chocolate for breakfast and don't worry about homework.
A young Sally Owens distraught at losing her parents to the curse, creates a love spell asking for qualities in a man which she knows don't exist. Hoping that as such a man never exists, she will never fall in love suffer the fate of her parents.
The Owens's sisters are continually taunted by the local townsfolk for being "witches" and Sally Owens (Sandra Bullocks') character desperately tries to fit in whilst Gillian Owens (Nicole Kidman's Character) plays up to the rebellious image.
The film follows the lives of the sisters through adulthood and their subsequent love lives which provide the central hook for the film.
I expected the film to be a barrage of the usual Hollywood inspired drivel with a bit of "magic" thrown in, but was pleasantly surprised by the film and found myself genuinely caring about the characters and the outcome of the film.
I adored the set designs and the general theme of the film, and although I rate Sandra Bullock as an actress and am aware that she is still typecast in this role I found myself believing in Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman's characters wholly and was literally fully engaged during the duration of the film.
The film is a typical Rom Com , with darker themes added for mystique and intrigue, which I feel would appeal to a mainly female target audience due to the re-current themes of female intuition, intricate female relationships and the bond between the two sisters.
The films approach to witchcraft is more Holistic based and tries to inform the viewer that magic and spells are all part of "The Craft" and a natural approach to the old fashioned ways of life with an emphasis upon belief as a core element. The townsfolk and their attitudes are used as a perceptive medium with which to engage and inform the audience about the prejudices that the sisters encounter and the fallacies that surround witchcraft.
As with most schmaltzy films, there is a little bit of a morality tale woven into the plotline and this is explored via the townsfolk and their relationships with the Owens women over the years and the morality lesson is neatly tied up in a happy ending.
Overall this a typical feel good movie, with some unexpected twists and turns. All of the performances are of a high standard with some good choices being made by the casting team. The exquisite set design acts as a powerful backdrop to the film and a great soundtrack serves to enhance the mystical feel.
I remember to this day when I first watched this film and to this day one certain scene still reminds us of something hilarious and scary at the same time, I will explain in more detail later in the review, read on.
The Owens family have always have been outcasts in the village, it stems back to Maria Owen, who was branded a witch when all the men in the village began to fall for her, as was customary back then, she was to be hung, but magic saved her and her unborn child. Maria cursed every man who would ever love an Owens woman, if he did, he would meet an untimely death.
This story about Maria Owen is told by the 'Aunts' as they talk to their two nieces Sally & Gillian who have moved in with the Aunts after their mother died of a broken heart, when the curse took her true love.
The film follows the two sisters, Sally & Gillian as they grow and master their powers, but when they grow Gillian gets bored and begins to explore the world. Sally is the opposite to Gillian, she doesn't want to see the world, her dream is to see the world.
The film follows Gillian and Sally as they begin to realise their dreams, despite their powers and the bad things that come into their lives.
Sally Owens- Sandra Bullock
Gillian Owens- Nicole Kidman
Gary- Aidan Quinn
Jimmy- Goran Visnjic
Aunt Frances- Stockard Channing
Aunt Jet- Dianne West
This is one of my favourite films ever, we haven't seen it in quite a long time, but I still remember how much I enjoyed it. As I was saying in the start of the review there is always one scene which always reminds us of the first time we watched this film, saying my mum hates spiders is a understatement but, when a tarantula runs across our living room floor on quite a spooky part of the film and having your mum jump on the ceiling is always stuck in our minds.
A lot of my friends are put off by the title of this film, because it's magic, it's going to be crap, however it's not just about magic, it's about sisterhood, it's about everything else that is involved with family and it's about loosing the people you love to something you can't control.
The story may have been done before but I think Practical Magic has something special, not only does it attempt horror and comedy it's also quite a moving film at the same time, I have seen a lot of films over the years but this one is one of my favourites.
The film has some fantastic actors in it, I originally watched it for one of the supporting cast members, and that was Goran Visnjic, as this gorgeous man has been in ER for years and this film was filmed before he learnt to speak such brilliant English, however his role is not as good as the rest of the cast around him.
Sandra Bullock & Nicole Kidman hold the film together as the leads, like most films where two 'girl' leads star there is rumours of those two arguing on set, however you can see nothing like this in the film, they really look great as the two related opposites, who no matter what are always there for them.
The comedy that you get from this film comes from the Aunts played by Stockard Channing and Dianne West, the former obviously Rizzo from Grease and West is obviously from The Lost Boys, both of these are brilliant within the film, Channing plays the more comedic role and provides a lot of the laughs, where as West is the good Aunt.
Other stars in the film include of course Aidan Quinn, this was the first film I had seen him in and I have to say, back in the day I thought he was pretty nice and a very good actor as well.
Did you enjoy it?
Well I'm sure you can tell already, yes I adored the film, I think the acting was brilliant, the base for the story is the magic, but that is not the main storyline, and I know the fact that it's about magic puts some people off but for me this is what interested me in the first place, I think I was going through a Charmed fase at the time.
Should You Buy The Film?
Yes, it's worth getting this DVD, either renting it or buying it. But don't go to play.com as you are looking at paying a tener for it, EBay is probably your best bet, on amazon.co.uk you can get it for £6 but that is still a lot of money to be honest. A brilliant film, well worth watching.
Running Time: 103 minutes
Director: Griffin Dunne
Been getting friends
Who will like this film:
This is a tale of frienship, family and witchcraft. Those looking for a feel good movie with a little something extra should watch this film.
Griffin Dunne, also director of The Accidental Husband (2008).
Sandra Bullock, Nicole kidman, Stockard channing, Diane Weist and Aiden Quinn.
Sally and Gillian Owens are raised a little differnt to most people. Their parents died and so were sent to live with their aunts, where they learned the art of Magic. however this family is plaugued by a curse; any man they fall in love with will meet an untimely death.
The wonderful charector interaction.
Possession by evil spirits.
The soundtrack to this film includes Faith Hill's, 'This kiss,' Joni Mitchell's 'A case of you,' and 'Always on my mind,' by Elvis Presely.
Sally Owens: Can love really travel back in time and heal a broken heart? Was it our joined hands that finally lifted Maria's curse? I'd like to think so. But there are some things I know for certain: always throw spilt salt over your left shoulder, keep rosemary by your garden gate, plant lavender for luck, and fall in love whenever you can.
Yes, this film really is feel good, it will have you wishing that you could perform such magical tricks as these can. Definatly a good watch.
**This review is only of the film, not the DVD**
Whilst this film fails to apparently entice some people it remains a firm favourite of mine!
The cast is strong, the acting is in no way bad and whilst the plot is not exactly original, they work well with it. The film starts showing a witch a long time ago in the same village who was hanged and survived, she was an Owens woman and banished from the village... for doing nothing worse than falling in love with the wrong man. In her time on the other island, she puts a curse on herself and future generations... that any man who falls in love with an Owens woman will die.
In the present day, Sally (Sandra Bullock) and Gillian (Nicole Kidman) couldnt be further apart.... 1 is shy and awkward, the other is wild and wayward. Gillian sets off for a new life, whilst Sally falls for a man, has children and sets up a home, finally fitting in the village that she didnt fit in with as a child. Until one day in a tragic accident, she loses her husband and has to move back in with her aunts.
Gillian meanwhile has fallen for someone and gets into a spot of bother when he hits her and when Sally goes to collect her, he tries to kill Gillian. In self defence, they accidentally kill him (in the least violent way possible).
From there on inwards, everything goes wrong.... Police come knocking, the dead man just wont stay dead and the women in the village have 2 owens sisters to contend with and learn to accept!
The film isnt violent or scary in the least, but I think thats mainly a sub plot if Im honest, I think the main point of the film is the close relationship between the sisters and also the fact that they fight to be accepted from all the other women in the village. Its about being accepting to others and fitting in. The film is light and a good watch if you like "chick flicks" which I mostly do.
From the first time I watched this film, it did stick in my head, mainly because its such a good film in my opinion. Not original in the least, but good enough to hold its own for anone who likes this sort of film!
Also starring Stockard Channing (Rizzo from Grease), Dianne Wiest (Law and orders Nora Lewin), Goran Visnjic (ER's Dr Luka Kovac) and Aidan Quinn (Dez from Desperately seeking Susan) this cast is strong, with Channing and Wiest amazing as the "aunts" and enough eye candy for both men and women to enjoy the film, if only for the view!
This isnt a film for great big magical scenes ie Harry Potter Type, or gratuitous sex scenes or even amazing special effects and horrors, but it does the job nicely and I think is suitable for the younger people in the family as well.
Sally and Gillian Owens have always known they were different. Raised by their aunts after their parents' death, the sisters grew up in a household that was anything but typical--their aunts fed them chocolate cake for breakfast and taught them the uses of practical magic. But the invocation of the Owens' sorcery also carries a price--some call it a curse: the men they fall in love with are doomed to an untimely death. Now adult women with very different personalities, the quiet Sally and the fiery Gillian must use all of their powers to fight the family curse and a swarm of supernatural forces that threatens the lives of all the Owens women.
I loved this movie, Sally is the sensible sister, she has 2 children and she has her own shop selling body cream and such like. She's a worrier but the sort of woman who can over come anything in time, shes strong! I loved her character for that! Gillian is the wild-cat, she left home to go travelling at a young age and is always getting into trouble.
One night Gillian rings Sally and needs her help, Sally sets off, in the middle of the night and travels the god knows how many miles to get to Gillian. Another reason why I loved this flick, the sisters argue like cat and dog, and are at times jealous of each other, but in there hearts they have an unselfish, burning and protecting love for each other, and that is shown so well on screen that I think the two actresses must of actually connected on set to do it so well, either that or they really are brilliant actors!
I think the togetherness of the sisters is so appealing, most of the town folk discriminate against them because they are witches, and as the view it is good to be on Sally and Gillians side, in the middle of their sisterhood!
So anyway, on that night Gillians crazy boyfriend kidnaps the 2 sisters, and well basically he ends up dead, so Sally and Gillian resurrect him and he comes back doubly as evil, so they kill him again, but his presence lurks, and a cop turns up asking questions about his disappearance. It all builds up to some very explosive, emotional and wonderful and scenes at the end.
If you have a sister, you'll really connect with this film, and if you don't you'll still see the essence of Sally and Gillians relationship, and you'll have fun watching the plot line.
Sandra Bullock ... Sally Owens
Nicole Kidman ... Gillian Owens
Stockard Channing ... Aunt Frances 'Fran' Owens
Dianne Wiest ... Aunt Bridget 'Jet' Owens
Goran Visnjic ... Jimmy Angelov
Aidan Quinn ... Officer Gary Hallet
Evan Rachel Wood ... Kylie Owens
Alexandra Artrip ... Antonia Owens
Mark Feuerstein ... Michael
Caprice Benedetti ... Maria Owens
Annabella Price ... Lovelorn Lady
Camilla Belle ... Young Sally Owens
Lora Anne Criswell ... Young Gillian Owens
I enjoy watching films and programme about witches, warlocks etc, which is why I liked the series Charmed. I am not a practitioner as I would not know where to begin but I am very intrigued by the whole subject so when this film was released I knew I had to watch it.
The Owens family have always been strange and when Maria Owen had all the men of the village after her she was branded as a witch. Maria was to be hanged for her crimes but magic saved her and her unborn child. As Maria gave birth she cursed every man who would love an Owens woman, that man would meet his death.
This story is told by the Aunts to their two nieces Sally and Gillian whos Mummy died of a broken heart after their Father meet his death. The two sisters are very close and take care of each other, as they are outcasts from the village.
Gillian gets bored of village life and goes off to travel while Sally just craves for a normal life and with a little magical assistance from the Aunts she gets her wish. However Marias curse soon catches up with Sally and she is left broken hearted with her two beautiful girls.
Gillian gets involved with a man called Jimmy who is trouble with a capital T. Sally comes to Gillian rescue but she accidentally kills him instead. Will magic be able to help them out or with police take Sally away for murder?
Sally Sandra Bullock
Gillian Nicole Kidman
Gary Aidan Quinn
Jimmy Goran Visnjic
Aunt Jet Dianne Wiest
Aunt Frances Stockard Channing
Sandra Bullock really comes into her own in this film and has such a commanding presence as the older sister. Nicole Kidman is very good and playing the younger sister as she is always getting herself in jams but knows that she can fall back onto Sally for help. Both Bullock and Kidman have a good chemistry between them and their sisterly bond is very believable
Dianne Wiest and Stockard Channing are hilarious funny as the Aunts, I found myself laughing at some of their comments. However the Aunts are great supporting characters for Bullock and Kidman.
Goran Visnjic is the classic good looking bad bay, one that every woman would like to know but would never be anything serious, however he is excellent as the maniac Jimmy. Aidan Quinn is the stable cop Gary, who is draw to the Owens family but has no idea why but will Marias curse make him meet an untimely death.
Now this DVD has two sides on the A side is the film and the commentary from Director and Sandra Bullock, the commentary is good but is always distracting you away from the film. On the B-side are the special features, which are below.
Making Magic - Talks with Alice Hoffman about her book (I had no idea this was a book until I watched this). Also talks with the cast and crew about the film and what is was like working with each other.
Casting the Spell this goes through the cast members and what they bring to the film. This is the cast talking about each other but in a good way.
TV Spot fancy for trailer
The most annoying thing is that no matter which side of the disk you are on the option is there to select either the special features or film but if you are on the wrong side you will be greeted by a message to flip the disk.
I really enjoyed this film and would definitely watch it again because some of the special effects are great, which is of great importance when making a film like this because without the special effects it would not be worth watching.
The story may not be original as the whole witch and curse thing has been done many times before, but they have managed to add a few twists and creepy bits to keep you interested. The cast work well together which makes the film more realistic as the chemistry of all the cast is superb and shows true family life with magic involved.
This film is rated 12 as there is violence and some of the supernatural parts may not be suitable for young viewers. The film runs for approximately 100 minutes so that about an hour and forty minutes. I bought this DVD from Adsa and paid about £5.99 which is very good value.
For the members that are interested in the supernatural this is well worth a watch, it is not a scary film but does have some nice twists that will keep you guessing. The only down side to this DVD is the whole flipping the disk to get the special features, as I would much prefer them all to be on the same side.
Thanks for reading.
(If you are seeing a recommend No, then please ignore because I do recommend it, I put the dot in yes but it keeps coming up no.)
I bought this film just to make up the numbers of a deal in Virgin or HMV. What a lovely chance to take. I now have a good candidate for a relaxing evening in with this. Starring the gorgeous Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock as the Owens sisters, Sally and Gillian, in a family of female witches this story is a gentle romantic fantasy. Back in the times of mass witch-hunting, one of their relatives was tried and convicted. She escaped the hangmans noose and banished herself to an island to await her lover and father of her unborn child. When he never came she laid a curse that foretells that any man who dares love an Owens woman will live briefly in the euphoria of her love before meeting an untimely end. The basic premise is a good old love story. Will love conquer the curse? Will both girls find romance, love and happiness? Will there be a happy ending?
Following their parents deaths Sally and Gillian move in to live with their attractively eccentric aunts played by Stockard Channing and Diane Wiest where they learn about the curse and their Aunts money making habit of dabbling in other peoples love lives. Stockard and Diane are wonderful as the eccentric aunts who teach their nieces magic. The two young girls eavesdrop on their aunts casting a spell to assist a neighbour in her quest for love and both react differently. Gillians face lights up and she wants to fall in love as soon as she can, while Sally reacts quite differently. She conjures a spell for a perfect man who cannot exist, thus, she believes, ensuring she will never fall in love and so never suffer the consequences of the curse
Young Sally (played by Camille Belle) soon shows a great aptitude for magic, being able to ignite candles by blowing on them is rather fun to watch. Gilly-Bean, as she is affectionately nicknamed by her family bemoans her lack of magical skills and assured by the aunts that she has other talents. The two young girls chosen to play the younger versions are excellent, both looking very similar to tier older counterparts and bring a freshness to the screen that is rare in child actors
As the girls grow up Gillian escapes the cloying familiarity and prejudices of the small community, leaving Sally home with her aunts to deal with the trials of living with people who harass, hound or ignore her because they believer her to be a witch. All she wants is to live a normal life. As time goes by both girls fall in love; Sally with a pleasant man who appears very briefly, with only one line; his sole purpose in the movie seems to be to provide Sally with her dream of a normal family. Gillian acquires an exotic boyfriend in the shape of Goran Visnjic who is enchantingly brooding. One moment he is dark, charming and irresistible the next dark and scary. He does have moments of humour later in the film as the story plays out
Sadly for both girls things go awry. Sallys husband becomes a victim of the curse and the bad Jimmy Angelov becomes even badder, forcing the two girls to act. Dealing with the problem of Jimmy seems at first quite straightforward, but things soon become complicated as the forces of magic and mystery come in to play. Aidan Quinn is charmingly understated in his role as a police officer come to investigate the mysterious disappearance of Jimmy
All of the cast are excellent; the main characters are quite well known, but their roles in this are different form their usual ones, which is a joy to behold. Each one, even the bad Jimmy, shows sympathetic qualities that lighten this film and bring it its magical sparkle. The supporting cast are very well played as the local townsfolk pass from prejudicial harassment to understanding and closeness brought about by the crisis the two girls face
The scenery of the island where this is set is just stunningly filmed. The only criticism I might make is that everything is almost too perfect; the people are all beautifully dressed and live in wonderful homes; even the market looks a little sanitised. But this is a film so reality doesnt really need to intrude too much. The family house is a large white wooden building complete with magical style and a high turret style attic, and a perfect blend of elegance and homeliness - what I wouldnt give to live there!
This film has never made me cry; it is a gentle unfurling of sisterly love and romance. Beautifully filmed with beautiful people it is like a box of very expensive, indulgent chocolates
available secondhand from a mere 70 pence on Amazon!
I've decided to try and review as many Stockard Channing movies as possible and although Stockard is only a supporting character in 'Practical Magic', it's one of my favourite films so I thought....why not!?!
'Practical Magic' follows the lives of two young women, Sally and Gillian Owens, who just happen to be witches (as the film says 'there's a little witch in all of us', isn't there?). For Centuries there has been a curse on the Owens family - any man who dare love an Owens woman will die - ummmm pleasant! When Sally and Gillian are young their father dies as a result of the curse and their mother then dies of a broken heart. Sally and Gillian are sent to live with their eccentric aunts who have some slightly unorthodox views on child-rearing - chocolate cake for breakfast and not bothering to brush their teeth (I'm sensing the Owens women had more trouble with cavities than they did with men!) Young Gillian claims that she can't wait to fall in love but Sally has already witnessed that heartache that comes with love and she decides to cast a spell to ensure she never has to experience it herself. She wishes for a man she knows can never exist - one green eye, one blue; he can flip pancakes in the air; he can ride a pony backwards; his favourite shape is a star etc...
Fast foward at least a decade and Gillian has left home in search of love while Sally still lives with her Aunts, missing her sister desperately. Her meddlesome Aunts see how upset she is and they cast a love spell for her. Sally falls in love with a local guy and they settle down to marriage and children. However, the course of true love, as they say, never runs smoothly, especially not in this family and Sally is soon a widower with two young children to look after. She moves back in with her Aunts but warns them not to fill her kids heads with nonsense (ie, magic) and to lay off with the child-rearing skills they put to work on her.
Gillian, meanwhile, is moving from place to place ,from man to man but eventually seems to settle down with a Bulgarian guy called Jimmy Angelov. Jimmy doesn't treat Gillian very well and after one particularly violent attack, Sally goes to her and they try to get Gillian away but Jimmy is having none of it. He tries to attack Gillian again and the sisters end up killing him.
Back at the Aunts house in New England, the sisters try to bring him back to life with disasterous consequences and they eventually bury him in the back yard.
I won't go into too much more detail because it will spoil the film. The film does have a happy ending but not until much more has happened to the sisters and their family. There are some great lines in this film which I wouldn't quite class as a comedy but it's not as serious as a drama either, although there are some quite dark moments in the film. In my opinion, both the comedy and the drama are dealt with subtly and each member of the cast - even the young children - contribute to the success of the film with wonderfully rounded performances.
The soundtrack that accompanies the film is well worth buying also with songs from Faith Hill, Stevie Nicks, Joni Mitchell and the quirky song 'Coconut' by Harry Nilsson. Also a beautiful instrumental piece called 'Amas Veritas' which sends shivers up my spine every time I listen to it.
Sally Owens - Sandra Bullock
Gillian Owens - Nicole Kidman
Aunt Frances Owens - Stockard Channing
Aunt Jet Owens - Dianne Wiest
Jimmy Angelov - Goran Visnjic
Gary Hallet - Aidan Quinn
Young Sally Owens - Camilla Belle
Young Gillian Owens - Lora Anne Criswell
Kylie (Sally's Daughter) - Evan Rachel Wood
Antonia (Sally's Daughter) - Alexandra Artrip
Continuing my quest to watch all my best friend’s DVDs <grin> I borrowed Practical Magic. I often decide to watch films because of the cast and this was probably the main reason for picking this one, as I have enjoyed both Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock’s performances in other movies – plus there was the added bonus of Stockard Channing (Rizzo in Grease). I was planning to review the whole DVD, as I did with Erin Brockovich, but after enduring 100 minutes of the film (in three sittings!), I really didn’t want to put myself through any more! So if you want to know what’s on the DVD, buy it yourself. I’m just reviewing the film. The basic plot of Practical Magic is that there is a family of witches called the Owens. There is a curse which kills the man that an Owens woman falls in love with. Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman play the two younger witches, who are sisters Sally and Gillian, while their Aunts (also witches, of course) are played by Stockard Channing and Dianne Wiest. There isn’t much more to the story than that really. Will they find true love? Will they be able to overcome the curse and live happily ever after? Well, if you’re like me, you really won’t care. The characters are vapid and it is hard to get emotionally attached to them or to care what happens in their lives. I ended up spending most of the film envying Nicole Kidman’s beautiful auburn hair and wishing mine were like hers. Not once did the co-stars become Sally and Gillian to me, they were always Sandra and Nicole. The film doesn’t seem to know where it’s going or who it’s aimed at. The pacing is unbelievably slow – and it’s not even a long film. You can excuse a rather slow start as there is a lot of background information to impart, but it never really seemed to become fast-paced or exciting at all. The whole film was dull and my mind started wand
ering onto more interesting topics several times. I even sorted out the washing during a couple of scenes. The film is rated a 12, so is it aimed at an adult audience? Well, nothing really happened to warrant my attention, so I am pretty sure it wasn’t aimed at me. My twelve year old daughter was similarly unimpressed and unenthusiastic, describing it as a children’s horror film - said in that ‘looking down your nose’ superior tone that twelve year olds use when talking about anyone under eleven! However, I wouldn’t let my nine and six year olds watch it, as there are a few spooky special effects that might scare them. Talking of special effects, you would expect lots of impressive ones in a film about magic, wouldn’t you? Well, you’d be disappointed then. There were more magical effects in Mary Poppins (and the music was better). Apart from lots of toads and one hairy spider, the best part was the spoon that stirred all by itself. Some of the film was interesting. I liked the way the relationship between the sisters developed, until they had an almost telepathic connection. However, this was not given enough time to make it more than a passing consideration. Aidan Quinn and Goran Visnjic provided the eye candy for the straight women watching, so that was disappointing too. Aidan was much sexier opposite Madonna in Desperately Seeking Susan (and then he only just scraped past average) and although Goran began in quite a sultry East European floppy hair fashion, the glowing evil eyes just didn’t do it for me. After that, he went completely Bela Lugosi - to the point of resembling an out of work actor desperately trying to get a part by being as cliched as possible. Meanwhile, Dianne Wiest tried to put some elegance into her role and ended up fading into the background, being totally outclassed by Stockard Channing. Admittedly, Channing occasionally strayed into panto
mode, but at least she seemed to be having genuine fun with it. Hey, at least someone enjoyed it! As for Sandra and Nicole – well, I think they were as baffled as the rest of us. Was it a comedy or a drama or a horror? Well, a bit of each really and not enough of anything. Nicole spent the last section of the film writhing around on the floor – because, as every film viewer knows, anyone who is possessed has to sound like they’re having an orgasm. Sandra had a permanently confused expression on her face and I don’t think it was acting. So overall, I wasn’t keen – as you might have guessed. A great cast being let down by a film which can only be described as dull. Still, worth watching though, just to see Nicole’s hair.
Actor Griffin Dunne improves a bit on his first film as a director, Addicted to Love, with this drama-comedy about a family of witches. Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock play spell-casting sisters of different temperaments: the former is a high-living, free-spirited sort, while Bullock's character is a homebody who can't get around a family curse that kills the men in their lives. A widowed single mom, Bullock gets into a jam with an abusive Bulgarian (Goran Visnjic) and is helped out by her sibling, but the result brings a good-looking, warm, inquisitive cop (Aidan Quinn) into their lives. The film has a variety of tonal changes--cute, scary, glum--that Dunne can't always effectively juggle. But the female-centric, celebratory nature of the film (the fantasies, the sharing, the witchy bonds) is infectious, and supporting roles by Dianne Wiest and Stockard Channing as Kidman and Bullock's magical aunts are a lot of fun. --Tom Keogh