The Nutcracker in 3D
|The Nutcracker in 3D|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Andrei Konchalovsky|
|Based on||The Nutcracker
by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
The Nutcracker and the Mouse King
by E.T.A. Hoffman (uncredited)
|Music by||Eduard Artemyev|
|Box office||$16.2 million|
The Nutcracker in 3D (released on DVD as The Nutcracker: The Untold Story) is a 2009 British-Hungarian 3D Christmas fantasy film adaption of the ballet The Nutcracker, directed by Andrei Konchalovsky. The film was met with negative reviews from critics upon its release, and was a box office bomb. The film does not credit the original The Nutcracker and the Mouse King story, nor its author E. T. A. Hoffmann.
|This article needs an improved plot summary. (October 2015)|
Mary's (Elle Fanning) seemingly dull Christmas is suddenly filled with excitement and adventure following the arrival of her Uncle Albert (Nathan Lane), who gives her a Nutcracker as a gift. Later that night, Mary dreams that the Nutcracker--called N.C. (Charlie Rowe)--comes to life and takes her on a wondrous journey. They discover that the Nazi-like Rat King (John Turturro) has usurped the Nutcracker's kingdom.
In the climax of the film, the Nutcracker appears to have been killed, but Mary's tears and declaration of love restore him to life and transforms him into a prince, his true form. The rats are all defeated and overthrown, but now Mary must reluctantly awaken from her dream. Before she's fully awake, N.C. promises that they'll meet again. After she does so, she goes to Uncle Albert's workshop, where she meets his new young neighbor, who is the exact image of the Nutcracker Prince and who asks to be called N.C. The two become close friends, and the last shot of the film shows them ice skating together.
- Elle Fanning as Mary
- Nathan Lane as Uncle Albert
- John Turturro as Rat King
- Charlie Rowe as N.C
- Frances de la Tour as Frau Eva / Rat Queen
- Aaron Michael Drozin as Max
- Richard E. Grant as Mary's father
- Julia Vysotskaya as The Snow Fairy / Mary's mother
Director Konchalovsky stated that The Nutcracker in 3D had been his "dream project" for over 20 years. Konchalovsky was inspired to adapt the film into 3D for several reasons; he believed that the format would be useful in conveying the fantastical nature of the material, capturing the emotions of CGI characters, and appealing to a family audience. At the same time, he opted to adapt the film with no ballet sequences because, according to him, "ballet cannot work in cinema very well."
Konchalovsky gave the rats who try to take over the fantasy kingdom Nazi-like qualities in his production, one of the many elements in the adaptation which alienated both critics and audiences.
The film's score is derived from Tchaikovsky's original music for The Nutcracker, the composer's ballet version of the E.T.A. Hoffmann story, and lyricist Tim Rice wrote lyrics for it. Many of the songs are based on the ballet's dances. Other songs are based on Tchaikovsky's other compositions, such as his Symphony No. 5.
Upon its release in North America The Nutcracker in 3D was widely panned by critics. The film managed a 0% "rotten", or 2.8/10 rating, on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, based on 28 critics' reviews. The site's consensus was: "Misguided, misconceived, and misbegotten on every level, The Nutcracker in 3D is a stunning exercise in astonishing cinematic wrong-headedness." It achieved a score of 18/100 "overwhelming dislike" on fellow aggregate Metacritic. Metacritic would later rank The Nutcracker in 3D the "Worst Limited Release" film of 2010. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film one out of four stars and asked "From what dark night of the soul emerged the wretched idea for The Nutcracker in 3D?" Ebert went on to claim The Nutcracker in 3D as "One of those rare holiday movies that may send children screaming under their seats."
Claudia Puig of USA Today accused the film of being "contrived, convoluted, amateurish and tedious," and panned it for lacking any trace of ballet, unlike several previous versions of The Nutcracker. Entertainment Weekly reviewer Lisa Schwarzbaum gave the film its only positive review from a professional film critic, awarding it a B+ and remarking "Attention, university film clubs: Here's your cult-ready midnight-movie programming."
Awards and nominations
||Worst Limited Release Film of 2010||The Nutcracker in 3D||Won|
||Worst Eye Gouging Misuse of 3D||The Nutcracker in 3D||Nominated|
||Best Young Actress||Elle Fanning||Nominated|
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- The Nutcracker in 3D at Box Office Mojo
- The Nutcracker in 3D at Rotten Tomatoes
- The Nutcracker in 3D at Metacritic