Christina Ricci stars as Penelope, a lonely heiress who has spent her entire life trying to break a strange family curse that left her with the nose of a pig. When she meets a charming aristocrat (James McAvoy) who seems t... more »o see beyond her physical appearance, Penelope begins to learn that loving herself is more important than breaking the curse. Also starring Reese Witherspoon and Catherine O'Hara, Penelope is a delightful modern-day fairy tale for the entire family.« less
Daniel A. (Daniel) from EUGENE, OR Reviewed on 2/8/2010...
I actually enjoyed this much more than I expected, although I acknowledge that it was by no means "great". There were moments when the drama was a bit obvious, but the charm of the stars was enough to carry the movie.
5 of 5 member(s) found this review helpful.
Cherry D. (Cherry67) from NEW CANEY, TX Reviewed on 9/16/2009...
I watched this for the first time with my 2 daughters and we loved it.
2 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
Great movie, but disappointing DVD
H. Vickery | Oakland, CA USA | 08/19/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I give 5 stars for the movie and 2 for the DVD. The movie is a fun fantasy type with awesome visuals and great acting. But, I was very disappointed in this DVD version. I had seen a foreign copy of the movie and was looking forward to having my own clear copy. But they cut out some really great scenes (one that my husband and I were especially looking forward to) and then they don't even have a deleted scenes section! If we hadn't known what we were missing, I suppose we wouldn't have been so disappointed. The scene with the reporter and the real Max in jail is shorted (missing a hilarious interaction). A really neat story point at the end where Penelope reconciles with Edward is completely cut. The birds flying out of the house when Penelope's mom calls after her are cut out (except in the security cameras) - a neat visual. And the scene with the kids at the end is shortened. Those were the scenes that we particularly remember missing, but I think there must have been some other shortened scenes. What a waste of money, the DVD will be just sitting on the shelf while we watch our low res foreign copy."
Unusual, uplifting and fun
Julie Neal | Sanibel Island, Fla. | 03/01/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This quirky ugly-duckling fable is ideal to see with your 'tween- or teen-aged daughter. Its message of self-acceptance is obvious but not heavy handed, and worth talking about afterward. A modern-day fairy tale, the movie begins with the traditional line "Once upon a time..." but soon becomes a twisted take on Beauty and the Beast. In this case, it's the princess with the curse that turns her ugly. Can she learn to love herself?
Well of course she can. The journey that pig-nosed heroine Penelope travels is not at all believable, but then again fairy tales rarely are. If you give yourself over to the uplifting moral -- that everyone is lovable and interesting BECAUSE of their differences, not in spite of them -- then this film is a treat. The energetic cinematography aptly depicts both grime and splendor, the costumes are loaded with detail (I especially loved Penelope's coat with mismatched buttons) and though the script drags at times, it has many unexpected twists and turns that keep things entertaining.
Though Christina Ricci does a good job expressing herself behind a snout, the real performance here is that of James McAvoy. Given the task of playing Prince Charming as a washed-up musician with a gambling problem, McAvoy glows with charismatic star power. The shaggy haired, sleepy-eyed actor doesn't look like your typical leading man, but when he is onscreen the movie hums. Catherine O'Hara and Richard E. Grant also click as the wrong-headed parents, and Peter Dinklage is his usual excellent self as a one-eyed reporter."
Christina Ricci has never looked better. Even with the pig
Tracy D. Cooper | 06/26/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Penelope is a fun little movie even if her suitors are over reacting to her nose and ears. I've always had a soft spot for Ms. Ricci and would marry her even with the pig nose. The rich part would be icing on the cake. The movie is fun and has its amusing and tear jerker moments, so as long as your not looking for deep meaning or some mystical self wakening experience you'll enjoy it."
Blandly predictable modern-day fairy tale
Roland E. Zwick | Valencia, Ca USA | 10/06/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
Due to a curse that was placed on her family in the 19th Century, an otherwise attractive British high society blueblood by the name of Penelope Wilhern was born with pigs' ears and a snout. This, as one would imagine, has put something of a damper on the poor girl's dating life, since prospective romantic partners invariably run screaming out of the room the moment they first lay eyes on her. Enter Johnny, a scruffy, down-on-his-luck compulsive gambler hired by an investigative reporter to infiltrate Penelope's house to see if the rumors of a pig-nosed girl residing therein are indeed true. But can this principled cad help falling in love with the "real," "beautiful" Penelope who lies just beneath the surface of this grotesquely swinish exterior? (Though, if truth be told, if you`re going to be stuck going through life with a pig-nose, you could do a lot worse than the one Penelope is forced to put up with here).
As to "Penelope" itself, it doesn't bode well for any film when most of the minor players have English accents and most of the major ones do not - especially when, without exception, everyone is ostensibly playing a British character. Beyond that, this "beauty is only skin deep" parable hasn't been accorded the wit or imagination it would actually need to be successful. The fairy tale ambiance has been reasonably well adapted to the modern scene, but the narrative arc that comes along with it could hardly be more transparent or predictable.
In addition, the movie, written by Leslie Caveny and directed by Mark Palansky, is replete with overwrought slapstick scenes of people screaming, running, diving out of windows, etc. at the mere sight of Penelope's face - scenes that, quite frankly, feel as if they were lifted straight out of an episode of "The Munsters."
Still, an appealing cast, made up of the likes of Christina Ricci, James McAvoy, Reese Witherspoon, Peter Dinklage, Richard E. Grant, Catherine O`Hara, and Simon Woods, at least makes the movie watchable - if you`re in the mood for this sort of thing, that is."
Ugly, Hollywood Style
JudyMoody | 07/31/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've read some reviews @ 'Rottentomatoes.com' and someone there picked up on the same issue I have with these sorts of movies: in the end, the actress is always beautiful [even with the nose on she's still Christina Ricci: pretty] - so what does that really tell unattractive people like myself? That I can feel really good about how I look even though I can't take my face off in some make-up trailer at the end of the day? And even the Fairy Tale books; it's always Beauty and the Beast, or Sleeping Beauty and the Handsome Prince - never Unredeemingly Ugly Girl and the Gosh-Awful Prince. Have you ever seen America Ferrara on the Red Carpet? She doesn't look anything like the character she plays on 'Ugly Betty'.......why? because she has to show up at industry functions and she has to be beautiful. This being said, I still liked the visual design of this film and the actors were very competent. I would recommend this film on those merits, not the social message being attempted."