Family, Musical, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Running Time: 115 min.
Release Date: December 13, 2008 (limited)
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Cast: The National Ballet of Canada
James Kudelka's truly breathtaking version of the perennial holiday classic The Nutcracker is brimful of all the eventful, magisterial spectacle of ballet in the grand romantic tradition, yet at its heart is infused with a touching, almost homespun wisdom and emotion.
The sumptuous blend of lavish exoticism and unfettered fantasy, the fears and wonders of our dream lives and the giddy excitement of childhood adventure is underpinned by Mr. Kudelka's understanding of the story as a voyage of maturation for the young hero and heroine, Misha and Marie.
Situating the story in 19th-century Russia and combining an affectionately detailed naturalism with a spellbinding sense of magic and an array of fantastic creatures and characters, the story follows its protagonists from their country home on a Christmas eve through a series of wondrous dream adventures that lead them to the glittering, frozen world of the Snow Queen and finally to the enchanting, opulent palace of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Gorgeously designed by Santo Loquasto and buoyed by Tchaikovsky's evergreen score, this is one of the most enthralling versions of The Nutcracker ever staged.