2023 ( USA | UK | Canada ) ( Musical, Comedy, Family )
Starring: Timothée Chalamet, Olivia Coleman, Hugh Grant
Director: Paul King
Wonka imagines an early version of Willy Wonka, who arrives in a vague, whimsical European city with the dream of opening his own chocolate and candy shop. Played with genuine appeal by Timothée Chalamet, Willy is naïve, wide-eyed and mad for chocolate. He’s sure his uniquely-crafted sweets will win over the city—the first one he demonstrates makes the eater fly—but the so-called Chocolate Cartel doesn’t want a newbie taking over their business.
Wonka is stylish, with its own set of visual rules. The sets, which embrace a range of European influences, are colourful and fun and often defy the laws of physics. Because it’s a musical the performances are big, buoyant and sometimes ridiculous, but it’s all in good fun. The film is charming, warm-hearted and the onscreen delight is infectious.
Wonka, like Paul King’s Paddington films, is something special in its own right, a labour of love from a team who have spared no expense or effort to give us all a Christmas treat. Kids. Families. Adults. There’s really something there for everyone. It just makes you feel good!