starring Jason Isaacs, Jeremy Sumpter, Rachel Hurd-Wood, Lynn Redgrave
screenplay by P.J. Hogan and Michael Goldenberg, based on the play by James M. Barrie
directed by P.J. Hogan
by Walter Chaw A perverse lollapalooza of loaded images and disquieting implications, P.J. Hogan's live-action Peter Pan is this year's most intriguing Freudian shipwreck, resurrecting the darkness and poetic pessimism of J.M. Barrie's play--and Peter and Wendy, Barrie's own novelization--that has been all but forgotten since Disney's well-regarded 1953 treatment. (While nowhere near as saccharine as something as mendacious as Brother Bear, that animated version is still of a Disney tradition that washes dangerous source material mostly clean of credible malice.) At its heart, consider that the Pan story is about child seduction/abduction in the Yeatsian "Stolen Child" tradition, and a colony of "lost boys" that have forgotten their parents and, crucially, been forgotten in turn. The mirror of a parent's love discarded in this way renders the film's heart-warming conclusion a touch bitter, with the spectre of the question "but what about their parents?" hanging over it.