The Golden Compass

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Year of Release: 2007
Based on: Northern Lights: His Dark Materials 1 Phillip Pullman 1995
Director: Chris Weitz Studio: Newline Cinema

While originally published under the rating of “YP Fiction” (10 – 17-year-olds) the novel came under criticism for its’ thinly veiled anti-religious themes, which the author admits to calling himself “an atheist” or more properly “an agnostic”.

The film version downplayed these themes and came under criticism from both fans of the book and secularist organisations for doing so, a clear case “damned if you do, damned if you don’t”>.

This shift of emphasis is what prevents the film from being a more faithful representation of the book and the presence of stars such as Nicole Kidman, Ian McKellen, Sam Elliott and Daniel Craig could not overcome the reader resistance to the change. Although it was a box-office success, due in large to its’ beautiful photography. Critical reviews were mixed. Public reviews tended toward the opinion that the film was at best a lukewarm adaptation. I’m sure many who saw the movie before reading the books were surprised at the difference. Still, what’s not to like about talking animals??

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This article is copyright © 2017 Rion Wilhelm All rights reserved.


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