At the Movies
How do you make a fairy tale with resonance? By treating the fantastical and the realistic worlds it contains with equal gravity and importance. In Guillermo Del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth, the writer/director spins a darkly satisfying and terrifyingly emotional story about a young girl stuck between those worlds in Spain during WWII. Living with her mother on an isolated army outpost, her stepfather a cruel officer hunting down partisans from the just-finished civil war, the girl encounters a threatening satyr underground who charges her with three Herculean tasks in order to retake the mantle of princess which apparently she once carried. It’s a masterful and draining piece of work, gorgeous in its intensity and one of the best of the year. Don’t miss it.
My review ran on filmcritic.com.Link.