The Grinch


Directed by: Ron Howard
Written by:Jeffrey Price, Peter S. Seaman
Starring: Jim Carrey, Taylor Momsen, Jeffrey Tambour, Christine Baranski, Bill Irwin, Molly Shannon, Anthony Hopkins
Released: November 30, 2000
Grade: A

“The Mayor grabbed a tom-tom.  He started to smack it.  And, all over Who-ville, they whooped up a racket.  They rattled tin kettles!  They beat on brass pans, On garbage pail tops and old cranberry cans!  They blew on bazookas and blasted great toots, On clarinets, omm-pahs and boom-pahs and flutes!”

Theodore Seuss Geisel (aka Dr. Suess) was a brilliant writer responsible for many books and poems read, remembered and loved by kids around the world.  The Grinch Who Stole Christmas and The Cat In The Hat are perhaps his best-known works and who can honestly say they’ve never read them?

The town of Who-ville treasures each Christmas as a time to celebrate and give gifts.  Legend has it that an old “grinch” lives high in the mountains and hasn’t been seen since spoiling Christmas many years ago.  When it’s time to present Mayor May Who’s annual Christmas award to the person most in need of Christmas cheer, young Cindy Lou Who nominates none other than the Grinch.

Cindy climbs high in the mountains to bring Christmas cheer but the Grinch is unmoved and has plans to spend the holiday wallowing in his own misery.  But the thought of an award grabs his attention - if he’s the winner than that means there must be losers.  Perhaps Christmas may not be so bad after all.  Returning to the town proves a bad idea and the Grinch is ridiculed and left grinchier than ever.  There’s only one way of making sure something like this never happens again - to steal Christmas.

I was stunned by the beauty Ron Howard (Apollo 13) has drawn from Dr Seuss’s writings.  The costumes, sets and cinematography are unrivalled on screen this year.  Head make-up artist Rick Baker has won 5 Academy Awards and will be a 100-1 on favourite next year - it’s amazing the detail he has gone to.  Baker has signed on to Tim Burton’s new Planet Of The Apes remake in 2001 - he sure likes picking tough challenges.  No cast member is recognisable and more time must have been spent in chairs rather than filming this production. 

It cannot be denied that Jim Carrey has the broadest range of any current actor.  If you told me that Ace Ventura, The Cable Guy, The Truman Show, Man On The Moon and The Grinch all starred the same actor, I say you were a Liar, Liar.  Every time I review a Jim Carrey movie I say that I couldn’t see any other actor playing the role and not to reiterate myself but ditto again for The Grinch.  Just how does he do it?

With Christmas just weeks away, it’s the perfect movie to take the kids and spread some Christmas cheer.  It’s not a dark film by any means and children will love The Grinch as he is won over and changed by young Cindy and her message that Christmas is not just about giving presents.

As the best family movie in years, don't pass up a chance to see The Grinch.  Just take the kids, it’ll be a cinch.  Beautifully narrated by Anthony Hopkins and filled with lyrical rhyme, for the first time this season I felt in festive chime.  So take the opportunity and answer the call.  To end, I wish a Merry Christmas to all.