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Read This: Wild Things Edition

In a scene from "Where the Wild Things Are," Carol (voiced by James Gandolfini) and Max (played by Max Records) stroll across the sand dunes. (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures, Matt Nettheim)

Good afternoon, everyone. Planning to see "Where the Wild Things Are" this weekend?

Ann Hornaday says literal purists will probably find reasons to loathe Spike Jonze's departure from the play-by-play plot of Maurice Sendak's classic children's tale -- but the film "will please those who understand that, at their best, adaptations destroy as much as they build."

And, at heart, this is a kids' movie. But, writes Hornaday:

Viewers expecting a consoling, soft-focus version of an anodyne children's story should be forewarned: Jonze takes the story to the dark and edgy place where devotion slips into aggression, where loneliness and fear are indistinguishable from liberation and desire. This isn't to say that "Where the Wild Things Are" isn't suitable for children; it's just that it will probably be most enjoyable to children with a working knowledge of Bruno Bettelheim's "The Uses of Enchantment" and psychoanalytic theory.

Other movies opening this weekend: "2012" and "New York, I Love You."

Elsewhere in Style: Chris Richards on the D.C.-area hip-hop scene. Jen Chaney on the viral success of "Paranormal Activity." And Michael Dirda on Dave Eggers' young-adult lit adaptation of "Where the Wild Things Are" (hint: everything's too trendy, and he kind of hates it).

By The Reliable Source  |  October 16, 2009; 12:50 PM ET
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