Golden Compass, The (2007, USA/GBR) C-112m. SCOPE ** D: Chris Weitz. Starring Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Dakota Blue Richards, Ben Walker, Tom Courtenay, Sam Elliott, Christopher Lee, Eva Green, Derek Jacobi, the voices of Freddie Highmore, Ian McKellen, Ian McShane, Kristin Scott Thomas, Kathy Bates. Flawed adaptation of the first of the Dark Material novels by Philip Pullman, this one introduces us to heroine Richards, whose uncle Craig has found a way to communicate with, maybe even travel to, parallel universe linked to theirs by dust. She lives in a world, where everyone's soul is following their owners in the form of animals, called ‚demons'. Entrusted with the title device that enables her to see the truth, the girl travels to the North Pole - a place where children have been mysteriously disappearing to. Plot by director Weitz is hardly involving, big names, big budget keeps you watching. A kind of cross between HARRY POTTER and NARNIA. May be more meaningful to those who have read the novels. Craig is barely in it. Followed by THE SUBTLE KNIFE (2009).

© Ron Altman