Oz The Great And Powerful, Starring James Franco, Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams & Rachel Weisz. Running Time 127 minutes. Directed By Sam Raimi.
When I was a little girl, I used to be obsessed with the Wizard of Oz. I even went so far as to be the “Evil Witch Of The East” one year for Halloween. Why the Evil Witch Of The East? Because she had the fabulous red slippers of course. My mom hand painted me a wonderful pair and I convinced her to let us take our Lhasa Apso trick or treating as Toto. I always wondered how she became so angry and so evil. So I decided to take a break from shopping online, and I went out to find my answer by watching Oz The Great And Powerful, the prequel to the Wizard Of Oz.
Carnival magician, Oscar Diggs aka Oz ( James Franco) is in a dead end carnival job seducing his fellow carnies with jewelry boxes. When audience members ask him to prove his magic by asking the impossible, a saddened Oz trudges back to his trailer only to be chased by another carnie who is rather upset upon finding a jewelry box in the wrong place. While jumping in a hot air balloon, Oz gets caught in a tornado and finds himself upon arrival to be in the magical land of Oz.
After discovering Oz’s surprise arrival,witch Theodora ( Mila Kunis) is convinced he is the promised one spoken of by prophecy long ago. It’s only this magical man who bears the namesake of this magical land who can save her and others who call Oz home from the evil wicked witch who has killed her father and left impending doom. Her sister, the witch Evanora ( Rachel Weisz) isn’t so convinced and asks Oz to prove his magic which he explains he will reveal in due time. He is then sent to find the evil witch Glinda ( Michelle Williams) who really isn’t so evil, to bring her back for punishment. Upon completion, he will be then allowed to rule Oz and receive all of the benefits, such as remarkable treasures.
Along the way he finds side kicks in the form of a talking Monkey named Finely( Zach Braff) and a china doll who he nicknames China Girl. But after meeting Glinda, Oz realizes nothing is what it seems in this great and magical land that shares the same name as him.
This film is filled with twist and turns that will leave your mouth open once you realize who the evil witch really is. The surreal backdrop for this film is spellbinding and presents breathless moments with all of it’s colorful beauty. The character’s costumes are painstakingly beautiful, extremely well crafted, and assist in adding to the fairy tale like splendor of the film. The computerized special effects leave you motionless at times, adding to the captivating nature of the classic Oz theme. The movie casting of the film was well done, with each actor portraying their respective character so believably well, you forget who they really are. For instance, you forget who James Franco is and start referencing him as simply The Wizard. The film also has an underlying message that is inspirational which I won’t spoil for you but it does have to do with simply believing in yourself.
This film was enchanting to watch and I’m happy to say now that my answers about my favorite witch with the coolest shoes have been found, although there is no mention of said shoes in this film. Which can only leave a girl to hope that director Raimi has more tricks up his sleeve for the Oz lover in all of us.
I didn’t post my review of ‘Oz’, but we are completely split on this! My main issue was with the performances of Mila Kuniz and Michelle Williams – they were just too bland. I enjoyed the first half of the picture though.