Wish review: It is wishful thinking Disney could emulate the success of fresh, feisty and funny Frozen | The Sun


(U) 95mins


IT’S wishful thinking that Disney could emulate the success of the fresh, feisty and funny Frozen.

Like trying to recreate a delicious meal with all the same ingredients — a strong female lead living in a beautiful, remote place who tries to stem someone’s magical powers — Wish is what the Disney diner has served up.

But there is simply not enough spice or seasoning here to make this a memorable dish.

This centenary film to mark the year-long celebration of 100 years of Walt Disney is the story of young Asha (Ariana DeBose) who lives in the magical kingdom of Rosas.

The first scene harps back to many classics, with the opening of a storybook and the words, “Once upon a time . . . ” It then uses this device as a tool to explain the slightly convoluted rules that govern Rosas.



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Beloved King Magnifico (Chris Pine) collects a wish from everyone when they turn 18. Then, when he’s compiled them into a giant bauble that floats around the ceiling of his castle, the giver of the wish forgets his or her desire to do something extraordinary.

They just get on with their life, never knowing what their wish was.

Magnifico chooses one wish to grant every year, but the rest he just, well, keeps.

Asha applies for a job as the king’s apprentice, which makes her soon discover that he has other plans for the wishes.

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He wants his citizens to desire little from life and have control over their hopes and dreams. While once seeming to be a handsome hero, he’s quickly revealed as a narcissist wanting to dangle empty promises over the kingdom.

So Asha wishes upon a star for the ability to change all this — and summons a literal star who helps with her quest.

There are some cracking power ballads, with DeBose getting the goosebumps rising, a cute sidekick in the form of a baby goat and plenty of nods to other Disney movies and their characters.

And the illustration also doffs its cap to former films, with the design being in both 2D and 3D.

But the humour and heart of Frozen, Moana and Tangled are just not there — and there’s very little jeopardy or magical moments that make your eyes well up with tears of joy.

Sweet enough, but it won’t get its wish of being a Disney classic.


(12A) 96mins


DIRECTOR Joanna Hogg treats us to a double dose of Tilda Swinton in this nuanced, atmospheric and gentle ghostly tale.

Swinton (in captivating, ethereal form) plays both filmmaker Julie and her elderly widowed mother, Rosalind.

The pair check into a Gothic Welsh country house hotel where Rosalind –  a genteel woman with a clipped accent, pearls, tweed skirts and faithful spaniel Ludo by her side – spent time as a child and Julie, seeking inspiration for her new screenplay, hopes to unearth buried memories.

But things seem amiss. Surly receptionist (Carly- Sophia Davies) insists rooms are fully booked but keys hang behind her and no other guests emerge.

The floorboards creak, windows bang and Ludo whines repeatedly. Richly layered set textures are deftly employed to unsettle – walls are dark and foreboding and lamps dim, while neat modern touches, such as Julie’s trainers, playfully add contrast to keep us guessing whether this house is haunted or not.

Clever use of framing keeps nerves jangling until the emotive truth is finally revealed.


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(15) 141mins


THERE are moments in this A list-packed Netflix movie where you start daydreaming about an apocalypse.

Several of the scenes feel like trudging through treacle.

It sees wealthy couple Amanda (Julia Roberts) and Clay (Ethan Hawke) leaving their New York townhouse for a weekend away in the Hamptons, just outside the city.

The pair arrive at a sprawling, immaculate house to soon be joined by the alleged owner, G.H. Scott (Mahershala Ali) and his daughter, the very outspoken Ruth (Myha’la).

They tell some convoluted, bizarre story about how they have to sleep in the house, too, because of a power outage.

Soon the whole of America is in crisis, with the characters guessing it is a terrorist attack, as G.H. constantly alludes to knowing more than he lets on, yet still remains vague.

Meanwhile, Amanda is a clichéd white woman idiot. Everyone appears to talk in riddles and you don’t know who you are meant to like – if anyone.

Blinded by its own shiny smugness, you may want to leave this film behind.

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