Phoebe in Wonderland
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Felicity Huffman, Elle Fanning, and Patricia Clarkson star in director/screenwriter Daniel Barnz's illuminating tale of parenting and growth concerning an exceptional young girl whose troubling retreat into fantasy draws the concern of both her dejected mother and her unusually perceptive drama teacher. Phoebe (Fanning) is a talented young student who longs to take part in the school production of Alice in Wonderland, but whose bizarre behavior sets her well apart from her carefree classmates. Her mother (Huffman) is an aspiring academic who is beginning to feel like she has not only… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 59%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It needs the power of imagination to be done effectively and I just didn't think it was here."
‑ Ben Mankiewicz, At the Movies
"[Elle Fanning is] an astonishingly natural and unmannered actress who carries this rather ungainly movie on her narrow shoulders."
‑ Dana Stevens, Slate
"An interesting look at a little girl's struggle to control her disease."
‑ Wesley Lovell, Cinema Sight
"An off-putting, misguided disease-of-the-week picture that tries to disguise itself as something else before finally coming clean."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"Movies featuring exceptional young actresses have always been near and dear to my heart. Elizabeth Taylor, Tatum O'Neal, Anna Paquin ------ to mention a few ----- are particular favorites of mine. Now I must add Elle Fanning to that list."
‑ Jeanne Kaplan, Kaplan vs. Kaplan
"I thought this was delightful, a little depressing at times but with three stellar performances from Fanning, Huffman, and Patricia Clarkson."
‑ Ben Lyons, At the Movies
"Barnz has made a poignant family movie that, despite its thematic material and brief profanity, is appropriate for mature 10-year-olds and older."
‑ Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer
"The whimsical and outlandish flights of fantasy are what initially grab the attention, but the greatest virtues are the authentic performances by the cast."
‑ Michael Dequina,
"[The movie] resists being pigeonholed or easily labeled -- because, like Phoebe herself, the movie is brilliant and a little strange and wonderfully unique."
‑ Sean Means, Salt Lake Tribune
""Phoebe in Wonderland" gradually morphs into a psychological drama of deep intensity, with an astounding performance by Fanning."
‑ David Kaplan, Kaplan vs. Kaplan
"There's a lot more perspiration than inspiration."
‑ Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor
"Let Clarkson and Fanning take you to the rabbit hole of seductive enchantment that defines this movie."
‑ Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"Believable and engaging, Fanning nearly renders the ensuing bore watchable"
‑ Chris Cabin,
"Ultimately, watching the film becomes a frustrating and annoying experience."
‑ Jeff Vice, Deseret News, Salt Lake City
"Elle Fanning, the ten-year-old sister of Dakota, can act like nobody's business, and it is her remarkable ability that carries an otherwise artistic mess of a movie."
‑ Beverly Berning,
More reviews for Phoebe in Wonderland on Rotten Tomatoes

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