by HELEN GEIB
Millions of people have seen James McAvoy in Wanted over the last few weeks. I wish they had all gone to see him in Penelope instead.
Penelope is a charming and witty fable that teaches that inner character should be valued over outward appearance. While that message is particularly relevant for children and teenagers, and for girls and boys alike, adults will find just as much to enjoy in this delightful film.
The talented and beautiful Christina Ricci plays the heroine who must discover a way to break the curse that caused her to be born with a pig’s snout instead of a human nose. McAvoy plays her love interest, heading the really excellent supporting cast of Peter Dinklage (in a not to be missed turn as a smart, embittered yet good at heart, one-eyed tabloid reporter), Reese Witherspoon, Richard E. Grant, and Catherine O’Hara. The story is equal parts sweet and funny as it relates the sheltered Penelope’s bumpy road to confident independence.
Extra features are meager, limited to a “making of.”
Other new releases this week: The Bank Job, Bra Boys, Meet Bill, Shutter, Step Up 2 the Streets, The Year My Parents Went on Vacation