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Phoebe in Wonderland

A film written and directed by Daniel Barnz, starring Elle Fanning and Patricia Clarkson

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Through the eyes of a 'different' child

  • Jul 18, 2009
  • by

What is a child to do when she begins to realize that she is not like other children? And that her 'different-ness' is taking a toll on her family and alienating her friends, classmates, teachers, and others? In this lovely film by Daniel Barnz, the child "Phoebe" is beyond quirky, and she suffers not only from her own behavior but from the guilt she feels when her family members are affected by it. Lost in a world that is confusing and often harsh, she has to find her way back to what others call "normal."

I am a huge fan of anything Patricia Clarkson has done in the last ten years, and in this film she plays the loving, oddball drama teacher, "Miss Dodger." The movie is worth seeing simply for her performance, but added to that is the completely convincing way Elle Fanning plays Phoebe, making us truly believe that she is a child at wit's end. Bravo to Miss Fanning and I hope we see much more of her.

I recommend not reading too many reviews as there is a 'reveal' in this film that other reviewers will feel compelled to give away. If you are a very pragmatic, concrete personality, you may not be able to appreciate the scenes meant to show us the world through Phoebe's eyes, so this movie may not be to your liking, but anyone who understands and loves the 'different-ness' of all children will enjoy this film.

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July 18, 2009
Hi Kay....have not heard of this one, but will check it out. I'm enjoying your book. Best to you, Donna
July 18, 2009
Thanks, Donna! I love this film. Hope you enjoy it! Kay
More Phoebe in Wonderland reviews
Quick Tip by . November 08, 2011
Just watched this film last night and was so delighted to see Patricia Clarkson (who rapidly became one of my favorite actresses) and Elle Fanning. As reviewer S_Kay_Murphy forewarned: do not dig too deeply for reviews unless you don't mind spoilers. I think this film was a very sensitive, creative way to express how a child like Phoebe experiences life.
About the reviewer
S Kay Murphy ()
Ranked #237
Hi! It's nice to meet you here! If you enjoy my writing, you may be interested in reading my memoir, Tainted Legacy. Some years ago I discovered a family secret: My great-grandmother, Bertha Gifford, … more
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