Tuesday 1 January 2008

The Golden Compass

Fast-paced and beautifully shot adaptation of the first part of Philip Pullman's highly-acclaimed 'His Dark Materials' trilogy. Unless you have read the book, the plot may seem weak and difficult to follow, as the action moves too quickly to flesh out even the main characters' motivations. The film also tiptoes around one of the books' strongest themes - the tendency of organized religion to quash free-thinking. Still, the computer-generated polar bears and animal daemons are impressively lifelike and there is some visually-stunning footage of the dreaming spires of Oxford and the snowy wastes of the Arctic Circle. Moreover, Dakota Blue Richards and Nicole Kidman put in strong performances despite the skimpy script. 7/10