Oz – The wonderful wizardry of James Franco

This review is a bit belated, but Oz the Great and Powerful is still showing at selected cinemas so it’s not too late.

I have never seen The Wizard of Oz, I’m not really sure why, it’s just never been my first choice.

But I’ve read the books and knew the story. Plus I like the whole cast of Oz the Great and Powerful, so I went in to the cinema with high expectations.

And Oz pulled off the trick – magical and funny, it made me want to  pull on my ruby slippers and glide over the yellow brick road in a bubble!

The lush, colorful world of Oz is populated by a whole host of weird and wonderful creatures , but none so ‘Great and Powerful’ as the man himself.

James Franco has already carved out a prolific career in such such diverse fare as the Spiderman franchise, Pineapple Express and Milk, and now seems to be fashioning himself as the next Johnny Depp.

His Oscar Diggs/Oz is a womanising conman of limited skill whose selfishness and  vanity is only eclipsed by his desire to be a ‘great man’. It’s apart that Depp would have been right at home in, but is perhaps too old for, and Franco – a gifted comic actor in his own right – puts is own spin on the wizard.

The three witches – played to perfection by Rachel Weisz, Mila Kunis and Michelle Williams –  also come into their own during the course of the film.

Weisz is particularly good (or rather deliciously evil) as Evanora, the first wicked witch, and Kunis switches well from the alluring Theodora to the grotesque green figure of the storybooks – hell hath no fury like a wicked witch scorned!

Williams brings mischief and a knowing smile to her Glinda the good witch, and the animated characters of Finley and the china girl blend well into the live action film.

As it’s a PG, Oz is fun film for all the family, but there’s plenty for the adults too.

Five stars

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