‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ star shines in film

Andrew Hampp

There isn’t anything particularly unique or original about the British family film 5 Children and It, but that’s not to say the movie is without its pleasures.

Based on E. Nesbit’s children’s book of the same name, 5 Children bears a striking plot resemblance to The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe while exhibiting a very similar look and feel to the Harry Potter movies, right down to its cast.

5 Children and It

Starring Freddie Highmore, Kenneth Branagh, Zoe Wanamaker and the voice of Eddie Izzard

Directed by John Stephenson

Stater rating (out of five): ??1/2

Chamber of Secrets‘ Kenneth Branagh wears his extra weight with pride as the kooky Uncle Albert, while Zoe Wanamaker (aka Madame Hooch) is on board as Branagh’s trusty maid Martha. Both actors are pleasant additions to a cast that also includes British comic Eddie Izzard as the voice of a wish-granting sand fairy (the “It” of the film’s title.)

But the greatest delight of the film, however, lies in watching a pre-Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Freddie Highmore do his best to rise above the clich‚d script and his underdeveloped role.

Highmore leads the otherwise mediocre group of five children as a curious boy desperately longing to reunite with his father, who’s off flying in World War I. Just try and fight back the tears during the film’s final scenes.

Highmore proves his winning work in Charlie and Finding Neverland was no fluke and his status as perhaps the best child actor working today is well-earned.

Contact campus editor Andrew Hampp at [email protected].