Keira Knightley in ‘The Nutcracker’ movie is a real sour trip


In an age when Hollywood desperately exploits every bit of intellectual property it can get and turns it into scintillating blockbusters and potential cinematic universes, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms most closely resembles a movie that was concocted in a lab using a hyperspecific formula. (The formula: IP multiplied by movie stars and tons of CGIs, plus censored and family-friendly posts.) CGI-filled high jinks ensue – so reminiscent of the new Alice in Wonderland films that Tim Burton should immediately press charges. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms‘protagonist Clara, played by Mackenzie Foy, is the umpteenth iteration of “an early prodigy who just needs a nudge in the right direction to take charge of his destiny” A wrinkle in time). Foy’s character has two siblings, and they’re so forgettable and unimportant that one of them literally ends the movie with a variation of “Hey, don’t forget me!” (Sorry kid, they totally did it.) Even the Tchaikovsky of it all is sorely lacking.

In other words, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is an unimpressive spinoff – a reminder that even Disney is capable of the occasional big-budget dud. And yet the film is not a total loss, because one person in all this business has boldly decided to let their bizarre flag fly and turn an otherwise sterilized visual spectacle into a surprisingly entertaining performance art.

Keira Knightley: You’ve known her since Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and around 10 million period dramas. In The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, she embodies the fairy Sugar Plum, one of the four regents presiding over the four kingdoms of this wacky parallel universe. Knightley’s performance is one of the strangest, strangest, most exciting (really) things I’ve seen in a major blockbuster this year, a Tom Hardy mix irresistible approach to Venom and Vanessa Kirby’s excitement for all that is dangerous in Mission: Impossible – Fallout.

Knightley’s performance is truly amazing, and if Disney were to spend over $ 130 million on The Nutcracker and the Four Realms for it to exist was money well spent. I can’t help but think of the Sugar Plum fairy. Maybe writing about it will help: these are the top three reasons Knightley steals the show. And know that I’m about to ruin the hell out of this movie, so please stop reading if you really care about the plot details of this damn Nutcracker movie.

The sweet voice of the Sugar Plum fairy (and the weird turns of phrase)

You get some snippets of the voice of the Sugar Plum fairy in the Four areas‘ trailer, but that’s not enough to prepare you for an entire Keira Knightley feature that sounds like Kristin Chenoweth is spraying helium. And it’s not just the ridiculously mocking voice that appears, as the Sugar Plum fairy utters words like someone just starting to understand the English language. Regarding the Sugar Plum fairy, the word “banished” is pronounced “ban-e-shed”.

Knightley explained to Weekly entertainment the thought process behind creating her voice of Sugar Plum Fairy: She’s a lovable character, so she wanted a voice that sounds soft. “The only thing I have to keep going is the Sugar Plum fairy which is sweet and sweet, so maybe the voice has to go up there and meet that musical motif,” she explained, citing. the Nutcracker from the ballet “The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy”, which she apparently watched hundreds of times (!) to prepare for the role. For more on Knightley’s process, watch this interview with BBC Radio, an incredibly haunting affair in which the actress vacillates between her real voice and the shrill horror of Sugar Plum Fairy’s voice:

Sugar Plum Fairy’s alien presence in the film is also accentuated by the phrases she uses: the multiple use of “goodbye”, the flourishing adjective “tippy top-notch” and the resounding disappointment of the phrase “oh poo” “. All of this might not sound weird on paper, but trust me, it’s quite shocking when spoken by Knightley doing his most impressive sexy baby voice.

The body of the Sugar Plum fairy… some parts of which are literally made of candy

Thinking about what exactly the Sugar Plum fairy is The four kingdoms from a Christmas-themed Disney movie to a horror movie. You see, the Sugar Plum fairy and the other inhabitants of this alternate universe were created by Clara’s late mother, who called herself their “queen” but was more precisely their god, since their inception.

Now, it is implied that Clara’s mother created the Sugar Plum fairy and the other characters when she was a little girl, which is why the Sugar Plum fairy is at least partially made out of candy. Yes, Keira Knightley’s character is made of candy in this movie. And this candy can be eaten by anyone, including the Sugar Plum fairy herself. She can eat herself. Like, when she tells Clara the story of the four kingdoms, she directly pulls out part of her pink hair and starts eating it. Because it’s cotton candy.

It’s terrifying ? Are Sugar Plum Fairy’s nail clippings just coconut shavings? Where does this madness end? Watching The four kingdoms, you start to feel sympathy for these characters, especially since when Clara’s mother died their world was abandoned by their god and they had no idea what had happened. I mean, the rightful place degenerated into chaos: As the Sugar Plum fairy tells Clara, in her mother’s absence another regent, Mother Ginger (played by Helen Mirren, incredibly), tried to s ‘seize all kingdoms. (I guess Mother Ginger’s skin is literally covered in ginger because this place is a food-hungry hellish landscape, but it’s never touched on.) The Four Realms are just that unholy power vacuum full of self-fairies. -cannibalised. It’s horrible but… everyone, including the Sugar Plum fairy, looks super cool with this?

The unbridled excitement of the Sugar Plum fairy

Yeah, about that: the big twist of The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is (spoiler alert!) Mother Ginger do not actually trying to rule the kingdom – the Sugar Plum fairy is. When the Sugar Plum fairy gets what she wants from Clara – the key to a device that can transform inanimate objects into living things, and vice versa – she begins to build an army of Nutcracker soldier dolls to take the lead. control of the four kingdoms. And these dolls turned soldiers get the Sugar Plum fairy, uh, pretty horny.

Here are some of the character’s most exciting moments, all of which occur after she turns all the little dolls into really big, really strong boys.

  • “They are huge! Clara exclaims in horror, to which the Sugar Plum fairy responds with thirst: “I know, isn’t it beautiful?
  • “Hi guys!” said the Sugar Plum fairy, addressing them with a wink, which could in fact be a spherical eraser.
  • “The boys in uniform with guns send me a thrill.” … Yes.
  • “Jog the boys,” she shouts, gauging the soldiers as they prepare to march into battle.

Just a reminder: it’s a Disney children’s movie. Disney is a studio that has carefully sexually castrated a whole universe of adult superheroes, yet here’s Keira Knightley — in the pinball machine Nutcracker movie – playing a fascist leader with cotton candy hair, happily talking about how gun boys make her feel some channel type.

By the way, that’s not a complaint: it’s hilarious, campy, and wildly unexpected. I just imagine a Disney executive checking out a first test screening and going, “This is great, guys. I’m just worried we’re a step away from the Sugar Plum fairy licking one of the Nutcracker soldiers’ swords. Either way, Knightley plays it all off gloriously.

I will forget everything The Nutcracker and the Four Realms– in fact, I hardly remember SuccessionMatthew Macfadyen is in this movie as Clara’s brooding super dad who just wants to have a Christmas Eve dance with his daughter. (He apparently doesn’t care about his other two children either.) Disney will probably want to, too. forget this flop. But we shouldn’t forget what Keira Knightley did in this otherwise bland movie, injecting her with the voice of Evil Carol Channing, edible hair made from what you can find in an amusement park, and relentless sex drive. for suddenly sensitive tin soldiers. . Forget Outstanding Achievement in a Popular Film, the Oscars must create a new category of actors called Doing the Most, and present the first prizes to Venomby Tom Hardy and Keira Knightley.

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