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09-29-2013, 07:41 AM
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Pan's Labyrinth
IMDB: 8.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Oscars: Best art direction, best cinematography, best makeup, also nominated for best original score, best original screenplay, and best foreign language film.
Director: Guillermo Del Toro
Language: Spanish, adequate English subtitles included

Jim Emerson Review:

Peter Travers Review:

I never watched Pan's Labyrinth when it came out because I thought it was a movie about Peter Pan. That turned out to be mistaken. I've been reading sporadic reports about how good it is over time, and I recently picked it up off a blu-ray rack... and wow. This is an excellent piece of work.

This is, as far as I can tell, a completely original work, that is one part fantasy, and one part period piece (Spain in 1941). Both aspects make for independently interesting movies, and when combined together... it just doesn't feel like a forced merger of two distinct, parallel films, they work very well together as the movie shifts from fantasy to Spain to fantasy, without losing a beat. There are some homages to other fantasy works that I recognised, there are probably more that I didn't realise were there, but overall, this was one great pleasure of a film. I just logged in to imdb to give it a 9/10. I would give an independent 8or9/10 to both the Spanish civil war movie and the fantasy component, and the fact they mesh so well together is a win.

I also can't help but be tremendously impressed with Guillermo Del Toro's ability to make movies in Spanish and English; that can be legitimately set in the USA, Spain, or China; that can be science fiction, fantasy, or period pieces, and to be able to build strong characters that need not always be of the same race, the same gender, or even the same personality type. Blade, Hellboy, Ofelia, Raliehg, etc etc are all quite distinct from one another. In Pan's Labyrinth alone, I count some at least six characters worth remembering: Ofelia, Ofelia's mom, Mercedes, the stepdad/captain, the pan, and the doctor.

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