Phoebe in Wonderland
|Phoebe in Wonderland|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Daniel Barnz|
|Written by||Daniel Barnz|
|Music by||Christophe Beck|
|Edited by||Robert Hoffman|
This article needs an improved plot summary. (November 2015)
A 9-year-old girl, Phoebe (Elle Fanning), has apparent Tourette syndrome. While she deals with being odd and insecure, her mother (Felicity Huffman) and father (Bill Pullman) are dealing with complexities in their relationship with each other and their challenging child. Her younger sister (Bailee Madison) feels neglected as Phoebe gains more attention.
Phoebe seeks a role in her school's play, Alice In Wonderland, directed by her school's off-beat drama teacher, Miss Dodger (Patricia Clarkson). Phoebe flourishes on stage, relaxing and feeling normal, but her impulsive speech and behavior persist off stage. Her parents hire a therapist for her, but after he proposes medication, Phoebe's mother fires him. She does not want to accept that there is anything wrong with Phoebe; when the principal questions if Phoebe behaves oddly outside of the classroom, her mother denies it even though she has many times witnessed her daughter's self-destructive rituals at home. When Phoebe is taken out of the play due to her classroom behavior, her dreams are shattered. Her mother, desperate to help her daughter feel normal, works with the drama teacher to bring Phoebe back on stage.
Although Phoebe is put back into the play, her challenges continue as she is driven to behavior she doesn't understand. She hurts herself jumping off the catwalk onto the stage, and the drama teacher is fired. Phoebe's fellow-actors descend into chaos, but Phoebe alone clings to a sense of purpose. She urges her classmates to continue their rehearsals on their own, and they do. Her mother, who has resisted efforts to label Phoebe, tells Phoebe that she has Tourette syndrome, and Phoebe helps her classmates understand her by explaining the condition to them.
- Elle Fanning as Phoebe Lichten
- Felicity Huffman as Hillary Lichten/Red Queen (uncredited)
- Patricia Clarkson as Miss Dodger
- Bill Pullman as Peter Lichten/Queen of Hearts (uncredited)
- Bailee Madison as Olivia Lichten
- Campbell Scott as Principal Davis/Mad Hatter (uncredited)
- Ian Coletti as Jamie Madison
- Tessa Albertson as Alice
- Peter Gerety as Dr Miles/Humpty Dumpty (uncredited)
- Madhur Jaffrey as Miss Reiter/Knave of Hearts (uncredited)
- Caitlin Sanchez as Monica
- Gracie Bea Lawrence as Julie
- Maddie Corman as Teacher/White Rabbit (uncredited)
- Max Baker as Teacher/King of Hearts (uncredited)
- The film was submitted for the Sundance Film Festival of 2008.
- This movie is Elle Fanning's first lead role in a feature film.
- The first draft of the script was written a year before Fanning was born.
- Shown at the RiverRun International Film Festival in 2008
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 60% based on 53 reviews, with an average rating of 5.94/10. The website's critics consensus reads, "Blessed with a good cast, Phoebe's heart is in the right place, but its execution is dicey." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 56 out of 100, based on 20 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Awards and nominations
- "2008 Sundance Film Festival Announces Films in Competition" (PDF). November 28, 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 25, 2008. Retrieved January 3, 2008.
- Griffin, Mark (April 24, 2008). "Phoebe in Wonderland". Boston Globe. Retrieved August 2, 2009.
- "Phoebe in Wonderland (2009)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
- "Phoebe in Wonderland Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
- "21st Annual GLAAD Media Awards – English Language Nominees". glaad.org. Retrieved January 14, 2010.