Around the World in 80 Days (2004)

Production Design

They took an absolutely ordinary film — even dreary in places — and wrapped it in two things that are lovely. The first is a lovely production design. Pastel watercolours that are evocative of Verne’s abstract nature. I have idea who to credit for this, but the mundane story provides interstices of grace in the spaces usually occupied by filler.

The other joy in this is the girl. Usually the girl in these things is a pretty screamer. What we have here is altogether novel in the nature of the girl. This one has a voice and tone that is ironically cartoonish. She’s the female equivalent of what Owen Wilson, but with pluck. A Julia Roberts smile specifically antiJulia. Only the Disney lab could scope out such a thing.

Oh, and Jackie does his “fight with ordinary objects” thing. Here, it is a stool, but the moves are the same we’ve seen a dozen times.

Posted in 2004

Ted’s Evaluation — 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.


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