If you think you know director George Miller from Mad Max, think again as you step inside the world of this over-the-top, grownup fairy tale about the power of storytelling. Miller’s experience choreographing turbo-charged action in the Max movies lends intoxicating movement to his latest film’s scenes, which sweep from wide shots to extreme closeups across a lush tableau. The genie-in-a-bottle fantasia starring Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton comes from a 1994 A.S. Byatt short story but tackles of-the-moment and timeless themes. Cinematographer John Seale, who has shot seminal films for Peter Weir, Michael Apted, Barry Levinson, Anthony Minghella and Miller during his long career came out of retirement to work again with Miller. His camerawork packs a visual punch that nods to early Technicolor marvels, and likely inspirations for this film, including Korda’s The Thief of Bagdad (1940) and Ray Harryhausen’s Sinbad movies.
“Elba is great as the hopelessly romantic immortal. Swinton’s even better as the no-nonsense human hiding a tender core.” — Charlotte O'Sullivan, London Evening Standard
George Miller, Augusta Gore, A.S. Byatt
Tilda Swinton, Idris Elba, Pia Thunderbolt
Australia, United States