The Addams Family
- Barry Sonnenfeld
- Reviewed by
- José Ruiloba a.k.a. Morris
- Review date
- Monday, May 28, 2007
Gomez Addams (Raul Julia) and his wife Morticia (Anjelica Huston) live with their children Pugsley (Jimmy Workman) and Wednesday (Christina Ricci), as well as Grandma (Judith Malina), Lurch the butler (Carel Struycken) and Thing (Christopher Hart). They have a pretty distinctive yet happy way of life in their creepy mansion. But there’s only one thing missing: Gomez’s long lost brother Fester (Christopher Lloyd). That is, until a crazy woman (Elizabeth Wilson) arrives at their home with, apparently, him.
Barry Sonnenfeld directed from a script by Caroline Thompson and Larry Wilson, based on the characters created by Charles Addams. Fortunately for everyone, they managed to keep the tone intact while creating a new story that would fit a big format. The humor is exquisitely macabre, the situations hilariously over-the-top and the mood fittingly strange. A lot of attention was also paid to the details, and the result is a wacky ride that is as unpredictable as it is fascinating.
I’ve always thought that much of the appeal of this family has to do with the way they take themselves so seriously without apologizing for how different they actually are. When you watch them it feels as if all those things could actually happen, but of course they can’t. The way Pugsley and Wednesday are always playing deadly games, the things they all eat, the way Gomez and Morticia interact, the peculiarities inherent in all of their friends and the many wonders found in their mansion are just some of the many pleasures they, and their movie, have to offer.
Sonnenfeld surrounded himself with great collaborators that all worked at the top of their games, from Owen Roziman’s photography to Richard MacDonald’s production design, Margie Stone McShirley’s art direction, Ruth Myers’ costume design, and Marc Shaiman’s score, not to mention the makeup and special effects which are also top-notch. This movie is quite something, believe me.
To successfully carry on a project like this you have to start by casting the right people. Raul Julia is simply unforgettable and lends the right touch of weirdness and charisma to his character. Anjelica Huston is simply delicious as Morticia. And they do share a lot of chemistry. Another highlight is young Ricci, who is dead-on as the cynical Wednesday. The whole cast is amazing.
“It's called, ‘Is There a God?’”
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