Saturday, April 23, 2016

Sleepy Hollow

Movie Name: Sleepy Hollow
Year of Release: 1999
Director: Tim Burton
Stars: Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson, Michael Gambon, Christopher Walken, Richard Griffiths, Casper Van Dien, Jeffrey Jones, Ian McDiarmid, Michael Gough, Marc Pickering, Lisa Marie, Steven Waddington, Christopher Lee, Claire Skinner
Genre: Drama, Thriller, 
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 8
Watch it on Amazon

Synopsis & Review:
After the aborted project that was his version of Superman with Nicolas Cage, Tim Burton focused his attention on the adaptation of Washington Irving's classic story "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" (the film was intended to be directed by Kevin Yagher, well known for his makeup work from films such as "A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors" and "Face/Off" for instance). The film follows the story of Ichabod Crane, a progressive and forward thinking inspector who works in New York City as the 18th century is coming to an end (it's 1799). As he butts heads with the local magistrate, he's ordered to go to the town of Sleepy Hollow, where a series of murders have been occurring, and where the victims have all been left headless. When Ichabod arrives, he meets the Van Tassel family, a hugely influential force in the small rural town, who offers him lodging and information in regards to the events that are taking place. They all inform him that a headless hessian, has come back from the dead and is in fact the one responsible for all the murders. Ichabod dismisses it all until he is faced with the reality.
Tim Burton's unique universe and perspective for heroes who are definitely different (almost anti-heroes), finds a perfect match in Washington Irving's story. The film deftly and beautifully captures a small and Gothic bucolic town, in which these supernatural events are taking place. The stunning production design and cinematography, compliment the aura that Tim Burton is creating, of a dark atmosphere, that is ever present due to the menace of the Horseman. The film also possesses a fantastic sense of humor, most of it coming from Johnny Depp's fantastic portrayal of Ichabod - he's a daring and yet somewhat cowardly man, who is unlike any of the other characters in the story (he's also suppose to represent forward thinking, the age of enlightenment). The film has a fantastic rhythm and Tim Burton captures a great balance between Ichabod's sleuthing activities, and the supporting characters and their affairs across the small town. Miranda Richardson, Michael Gambon, Richard Griffiths, Christopher Lee all create great characters, and the score from Danny Elfman is as usual fantastic. A great film always worth revisiting.