I've never seen a movie win me over so utterly and then kick out the chair. Watching the virtuous Charlie Bucket (pint-sized miracle Freddie Highmore) hunger after the fabled Golden Ticket, I was moved to the point of real tears; shortly after we entered the industrialized confectionery of Charlie's dreams, I knew I was witnessing the film sputter and die slowly. Johnny Depp's off-putting portrayal of Willy Wonka as an even creepier cousin to Michael Jackson robs the movie of all authority, as does the irrelevant backstory the character has received from screenwriter John August. Though it's routinely lambasted, 1971's Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory knew to keep the focus on Charlie, who had an ethical test to pass before he could inherit Wonka's legacy. The moral of this film seems to be, "Keep your head down and wait for everybody around you to fuck up" hardly the kind of life lesson that will inspire anyone to line up for an Oompa-Loompa's autograph 30 years down the line. Once again, Tim Burton "reimagines" a property he Just Doesn't Get. (See Planet of the Apes but not literally.) His brand of chocolate melts in you hand, not in your heart.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.