Amy Wellborn on the Narnia Film

Amy Wellborn, one of my favorite bloggers, saw the Narnia film this weekend, and she has a lot to say about it, of course.

And, of course, she’s right on.

Here’s an excerpt:

It was okay. I agree with most of the reviews I’ve read on the major points: the little actress who played Lucy was a charmer, the other child actors, not so much. It is always startling to see British child actors who are just a little beyond wooden. Tilda Swinton has just the right, naturally blank look to play a frozen, evil White Witch. Mr. Tumnus was marvelous. The scene in which Lucy first enters Narnia is a magical marvel.

But what the adaptation, with its choices, additions and omissions has done, in the end, is left the film without a clear sense of why. We know that this is about a struggle of sorts between good and evil, but the bigger picture is lost to us. White Witch: bad; Aslan: good, and there is a sacrifice of a good creature for a sinner, but…why? As one critic noted in one of the links I’m going to give you in a minute, the bigger picture is restoration, but the importance and weight of this is just not clear in the film, and it all ends up being less lastingly memorable because of it.

And she, along with plenty of other bloggers, has noticed what has become the most lively debate Looking Closer Journal has ever hosted!

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet has two passions: writing fiction, and celebrating art — music, cinema, photography, literature — through writing and teaching. He is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” — Through a Screen Darkly. And his four-novel fantasy series, The Auralia Thread, which begins with Auralia's Colors, was published by Random House. He speaks at universities and conferences around the world about understanding art through eyes of faith. He is earning his MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University, where he has worked for 11 years as an editor, writer, and communications project manager. His work has been recognized in The New Yorker, TIME, The Seattle Times, IMAGE, Ravi Zacharias International — and Christianity Today, where he served as a film journalist for more than a decade. He recently began a weekly column called "Listening Closer" for Christ and Pop Culture.

  • Kevin Shaw

    Nice article! Thank you for linking it, Jeffrey.