CHARMING ADULT FAIRYTALE...
Lawyeraau | Balmoral Castle | 01/02/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Based upon a true story, this is a charming film with wonderful performances by a stellar cast. It tells the tale of a mysterious young woman (Phoebe Cates) in nineteenth century England, who is found wandering the countryside dressed in outlandish clothing and supposedly speaking no English. She is taken in by a kindly aristocratic family, and she gulls them into believing that she is some sort of exotic, foreign royal, Princess Caraboo.
Princess Caraboo charms all who meet her. Everyone is intrigued by her. Just who is she and where is she from? The Greek butler (Kevin Kline) thinks that she is an imposter. The aristocratic couple ( Jim Broadbent and Wendy Hughes), who virtually adopt her, believe her to be the real deal. The skeptical academic (John Lithgow), who specializes in Southeastern Asian languages and dialects and was brought in to try and determine her origin, is not immune to the charm of Princess Caraboo. Even the intrepid reporter, Mr. Gutch (Stephen Rea), who is onto something that may reveal the mystery of Princess Caraboo, falls under her spell.
Phoebe Cates outdid herself, giving a wonderful performance in an inherently difficult role that calls for speaking very little, and when she does speak it is, for the most part, to utter what sounds like gibberish. She is very expressive and totally charms the viewer. Jim Broadbent and Wendy Hughes are terrific as the aristocratic couple. Kevin Kline gives an over the top performance as the wily Greek butler. John Lithgow is outstanding as the academic and drolly funny. Stephen Rea is wonderful as the conflicted reporter, giving a well nuanced and sensitive performance. All in all, this is a perfectly delightful film that is suitable for the entire family.
The DVD itself offers high quality visuals and audio, but offers no special features or bonus extras."
Delightful, magical story with some minor social commentary
Merrill Mattie | 06/25/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Princess Caraboo is simultaneously a wonderful fairy tale of a lost princess who survives harrowing adventures in a foreign land, and also a light treatment of a period of social unrest and class struggle in historic England. The fairy tale is the more compelling of the two aspects, which makes this movie a wonderful film for adults and children alike. Cates' unswerving imperial manner juxtaposed with her childlike wonder are engrossing not only to us, the audience, but to the people swept up in her adventure, especially the wonderful Stephen Rea as a cynical journalist transformed by her strength and beauty.The social commentary is touched upon only lightly and occasionally, making the resolution to the question of the princess somewhat of a letdown; we aren't really given anough information to understand how she got to where she did. (Sorry for the vagueness -- I'm avoiding spoilers, here.) However, the concurrent resolution of the problems of Mrs. Warren, the kind lady who took in the princess, is worth whatever confusion or incompleteness there might be.Overall, this is a delightful story for all ages, which sparks the imagination and holds your interest until the very last moment."
Lynn Shenefield | Florida | 06/26/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love this movie. Most of all, the story is delightful and well told."