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 is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” called Through a Screen Darkly, and a four-volume series of fantasy novels called The Auralia Thread, which includes Auralia’s Colors, Cyndere’s Midnight, Raven’s Ladder, and The Ale Boy’s Feast. Jeffrey is a contributing editor for Seattle Pacific University’s Response magazine, and he writes about art, faith, and culture for Image, Filmwell, and his own website, His work has also appeared in Paste, Relevant, Books and Culture, and Christianity Today (where he was a film columnist and critic for almost a decade). He lives in Shoreline, Washington. Visit him on Facebook at

  • Kevin Shaw

    Nice article! Thank you for linking it, Jeffrey.