But in the hands of the filmmakers behind “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” “Wendy” resides — ever so delicately — in the space between. It is an achingly earnest, feral, transporting and (very) loose reimagining of the classic J.M. Barrie tale about not wanting to grow up.
Gone are the outdated mores and fancy window dressings of Barrie’s story, however. Here, the Darlings are a raggedy American family living in the Deep South and surviving by slinging eggs and coffee in a diner full of characters with weathered faces and hearty laughs. In the opening scene, Wendy, a rosy cheeked toddler who is already getting a taste of labor helping her mom crack eggs over the stove, watches a young boy flee from his plate of bacon and the horrifying life sentence of possibly growing up to be a “broom and mop man.” He spots a shadow figure of a child on a train speeding by and follows it out of town, away from the unromantic realities around him to where he might just have a chance of being a pirate.
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February 28, 2020