Robert Zemeckis had a great 20 year run as a director: 1980-2000. Any filmmaker would be proud if they delivered a fraction of the films Zemeckis did in that time: Used Cars, Romancing The Stone, Back To The Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Back To The Future II, Back To The Future III, Death Becomes Her, Forrest Gump, Contact, What Lies Beneath, Castway.
However, since then, Zemeckis’ work has been patchy at best and he has seemed more interested in the digital tools of filmmaking rather than story. His latest film, an adaptation of Roald Dahl‘s The Witches doesn’t seem to be turning the decline around.
The main reason for this is because Nicolas Roeg perfectly adapted Dahl’s novel in 1990. That film featured a brilliant performance from Anjelica Huston and Roeg really went to town on delivering the darkness of Dahl’s tale. Sorry, but I don’t think Anne Hathway is going to be patch on Huston. Throw in an overabundance of CGI and you have a movie which appears to lack soul and character. Maybe I’m wrong.
The Witches is scheduled for a theatrical release in the UK and Ireland, but it’s making its US debut on HBO Max.
Reimagining Dahl’s beloved story for a modern audience, Robert Zemeckis’s visually innovative film tells the darkly humorous and heartwarming tale of a young orphaned boy who, in late 1967, goes to live with his loving Grandma in the rural Alabama town of Demopolis. As the boy and his grandmother encounter some deceptively glamorous but thoroughly diabolical witches, she wisely whisks our young hero away to an opulent seaside resort. Regrettably, they arrive at precisely the same time that the world’s Grand High Witch has gathered her fellow cronies from around the globe—undercover—to carry out her nefarious plans.