A film adaptation of Matilda the Musical was first announced in November 2013, with Warchus and Kelly reportedly attached to return as director and writer, respectively. In January 2020, the project was officially announced, and Warchus and Kelly's returns were confirmed, as well as Minchin, who revealed he was returning to write new songs for the film. Christopher Nightingale, who had written background music for the musical, was also hired to return as composer of the film's incidental score. The cast was filled out between January and April 2021, including Weir, Lynch, Thompson, Graham, and Riseborough. Principal photography took place beginning in May 2021 in Ireland.
The plot of this new incarnation has mostly remained the same. Matilda is an exceptional girl living a sad and lonely life. Then she meets a caring teacher who really turns her life around. Matilda is played by newcomer Alisha Weir, and for the most part the whole cast is new to me. The one excpetion is Emma Thompson, who steals the movie away as Agatha Trunchbull. Her acting in this role is a definite improvement on the 1996 film which had Pam Ferris as Miss Trunchbull. The movie is a little slow at times, but the music livens things up.
My daughter loved the movie, and I am so glad to have had the opportunity to see this in a move theater. However, Netflix will begin streaming the movie on Christmas Day. I could have saved money by waiting two weeks to see the film, but there is just something about seeing a movie musical on the screen. It was an enjoyable movie, and I recommend this movie to anyone who has read and loved the story of Matilda Wormwood. It was not the greatest movie musical by any stretch, but it was a good one...
MY RATING: 8 OUT OF 10