Panorama | Galas
Todd Haynes (Carol, Far From Heaven) returns with a marvellous time-travelling tale that—as so many have already said—will, indeed, leave you feeling what the title suggests. Based on The Invention of Hugo Cabret author Brian Selznick’s YA novel, this dazzlingly inventive drama runs on parallel tracks while following the fortunes of two deaf 12-year-olds: Ben (Oakes Fegley), a lad in 1977 Michigan who loses his mother (Michelle Williams), and Rose (luminous newcomer Millicent Simmonds), a girl in 1927 New Jersey obsessed with silent screen star Lillian Mayhew (Julianne Moore, channelling Lillian Gish). For (seemingly) very different reasons, both kids find themselves drawn to a gloriously rendered New York City in search of their own burgeoning identities. Haynes, aided by cinematographer Ed Lachman’s perfect evocation of New York in black and white (1927) and colour (1977) as well as Carter Burwell’s beautiful score, masterfully interweaves their picaresque tales (no spoilers here about how he ties them together) to soul-stirring effect.
"Intricate and ambitious… Wonderstruck embraces so many shimmery, evanescent ideas, it’s a marvel that any one picture—let alone one you can take your kids to—can hold them. This is a romance of New York City, a love letter to the pleasure of making anything by hand (with paper or paint or even, possibly, film), a story of finding the place where you belong… Cinematographer Edward Lachman gives us a New York whose majesty lies in its textures and colors, a world of warm, silvery black-and-white and gritty-glorious gray-greens. And every performance is wonderful, though it’s young Simmonds whose face is likely to haunt you."—Stephanie Zacharek, Time