Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is a 2009 film directed by Terry Gilliam. It stars Christopher Plummer (Star Trek), Heath Ledger, Verne Troyer, Lily Cole, Andrew Garfield and Tom Waits and features Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell and Jude Law. We started watching too late last night for The Husband to participate, but the rest of us enjoyed it.


Moria gives it 4 stars and much praise. Roger Ebert wants to like it, saying, "The best approach is to sit there and let it happen to you; see it in the moment..." Slant Magazine calls it "a galumphing bacchanal of illusionist clutter that's frequently unwieldy but rarely less than deeply felt." The Guardian says it's for Gilliam fans only and adds, "Despite the brilliant moments, there is a fundamental lack of dramatic traction here and the surrealism creates an inert flabbiness in its already chaotic story." The New York Times review talks a lot about Heath Ledger. NPR says it "isn't easy to follow, but it's fun to look at." Variety says Gilliam "has made a pretty good thing out of a very bad situation". Wired says the film "wobbles beneath the weight of its own shaggy-dog fairy tale." BBC reports, "The critics at Cannes loved it, but most cinema-goers would need to see it more than once to start untangling the multiple themes."


  1. I loved the costumes. lol I agreed with the rest of the family. The ones of us who watched it enjoyed it. I wasn't following Heath Ledger's career and didn't take his death as hard as some, so I didn't have to get past that to get into the film. It doesn't do to depend too heavily on the plot for enjoyment, as the images are at least as important (and maybe more so). I always like seeing Tom Waits show up.