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 Photo: Jay Maidment - TM & © 2016 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.

Photo: Jay Maidment – TM & © 2016 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.

By Megan Bianco

By now, we all know the Tim Burton formula. Gothic setting and costuming, misunderstood outcast, whimsical music score and at least a little bit of stop-motion or CGI. For over a decade, Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter were his go-to leads, but his most recent release, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, is his third film with neither. Instead, we have Burton’s second feature starring arthouse favorite Eva Green in this adaptation of Ransom Riggs’ popular novel. The film could be viewed as Harry Potter meets the X-Men.

Jake Portman (Asa Butterfield) witnesses his close grandfather, Abe (Terence Stamp), die right before him with a mysterious, supernatural figure looming over them. Later, Jake discovers a postcard from Abe’s old boarding home, and Jake and his dad (Chris O’Dowd) think visiting will help deal with Abe’s death. Only Jake discovers the boarding house is very alive in magical ownership by Miss Peregrine (Green), and include her youthful tenants: floating Emma Bloom (Ella Purnell), creature inventor Enoch O’Connor (Finlay MacMillan) and flammable Olive Elephanta (Lauren McCrostie).

Like with Frankenweenie (2012) and Big Eyes (2014), the most refreshing thing about Miss Peregrine’s is seeing new faces work with Burton after having so much Depp and Carter in the past. Green naturally fits in with the filmmaker’s trademark aesthetic and direction. Some of the editing and continuity decisions in the film are a bit peculiar to say the least, but for those older kids who like traditional Burton or fantasy, this might do.

 

 

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