Gnomeo & Juliet (U)
Voices of: James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Jason Statham
Friday 11 February 2011
Produced by David Furnish and executive produced by Elton John, with vocal talents from Hulk Hogan to Ozzy Osbourne roped in – this animated re-telling of Romeo and Juliet with garden gnomes has got "vanity project" and "self-indulgent failure" written all over it, don't you think?
Amazingly, it works rather well. Here's a bustling world of garden ornaments, hot-rod lawnmower races, Latino flamingos and a plaster suitor called Paris (geddit?). The star-cross'd lovers inhabit adjacent gardens whose feuding owners, Mr Capulet (Richard Wilson) and Miss Montague (Julie Walters), know nothing of the internecine strife between the red-capped and blue-capped gnomes, or the passions beating behind their fishing rods. Michael Caine and Maggie Smith play senior gnomes, Emily Blunt is perfect as the voice of Juliet, amused and playful, and James McAvoy does his blokeish everyman bit as Gnomeo (though his gnome face resembles Dominic Cooper). Ashley Jensen steals the show as Juliet's nurse, a huge romantic frog called Nanette. The producers were clearly hoping for a hybrid of Toy Story and Shrek, and while the film doesn't have the lovability and wit of the former, or the mad creativity of the latter, it's directed with flair and energy, spirited, funny and charming.
TV reviewGrace Dent: Jimmy McGovern's new drama sheds light on sex slavery in the colonies
Eurovision 2015Australian Idol winner unveiled as representative Down Under
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
- 2 Kate Moss: Previously unpublished nude photo revealed by Mert and Marcus
- 3 Indian woman creates 'Marriage CV' after parents put her on dating site: 'Definitely not marriage material. Won’t grow long hair, ever'
- 4 World Book Day: Boy 'excluded' from school after dressing up as Fifty Shades' Christian Grey
- 5 Bad Jews poster 'censored' on London Tube
The 9 rules every Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner cartoon had to follow are wonderfully pedantic
Toy Story 4: Pixar promises a romcom storyline 'separate' from the much-loved trilogy
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Bad Jews poster 'censored' on London Tube
World Book Day: Boy 'excluded' from school after dressing up as Fifty Shades' Christian Grey
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Elif Shafak: Turkish author warns against rise of British nationalism
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests
Nigel Farage promises Ukip will not 'stigmatise' would-be migrants – and says he wants 'everyone to speak the same language'