Starring: Mackenzie Foy, Keira Knightley, Jayden Fowora-Knight, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, Eugenio Derbez, Miranda Hart, Jack Whitehall, Misty Copeland, Matthew Macfadyen
OUR RATING: ★★½
Fantasy live-action adaptation of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s The Nutcracker and the Mouse King and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s ballet, directed by Lasse Hallström. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms centers on a young girl, Clara (Mackenzie Foy), who wants a one-of-a-kind key that will unlock a box that holds a priceless gift from her late mother. A golden thread, presented to her at godfather Drosselmeyer’s (Morgan Freeman) annual holiday party, leads her to the coveted key, which promptly disappears into a strange and mysterious parallel world. It’s there that Clara encounters a soldier named Phillip (Jayden Fowora-Knight), a gang of mice and the regents who preside over three Realms, Land of Snowflakes, Land of Flowers and Land of Sweets. Clara and Phillip must brave the ominous Fourth Realm, home to the tyrant Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren), to retrieve Clara’s key and hopefully return harmony to the unstable world.
Our Favorite Quote:
Mr. Stahlbaum: Clara, Christmas comes, whether we like it or not. We must do our best to enjoy it.
Clara: I don’t want to enjoy it. I don’t want to enjoy anything right now.
Mr. Stahlbaum: Well, that may be the case, but it’s important to maintain traditions as a family. It’s what’s expected of us.
Clara: I don’t care what’s expected.
Mr. Stahlbaum: Well, you should.
Drosselmeyer: Merry Christmas, Clara.
Drosselmeyer: Your gift is here, it will be something you’ll never forget. Most people don’t realize there are troubled realms within our world, and you hold the key to their secrets. Remember, Clara, nothing is as it seems.
Drosselmeyer: [to Clara] Your mother was the cleverest inventor I ever knew, and there was any doubt when I asked what her greatest creation was. You.
Drosselmeyer: It’s Christmas Eve. It’s going to be a magical night.
Philip: At your service, Princess Clara.
Clara: Where am I?
Philip: You’re in the four realms, Princess Clara.
Philip: At your service, your majesty.
Clara: Maybe I have been spending too much time in the attic.
Sugar Plum Fairy: [to Clara] Welcome to our world. The land of snowflakes, the land of flowers, and the land of sweets. But in the fourth realm, this is where our troubles began. Mother Ginger started this war. I hope you’ll be the one to finish it.
Sugar Plum Fairy: Your mother created our world.
Clara: My mother made all of this.
Sugar Plum Fairy: She was our queen.
Sugar Plum Fairy: Mother Ginger wants to rule the realms.
Drosselmeyer: [to Clara] The future of the realms lies with you. Be careful who you trust.
Mother Ginger: The time has come.
Mother Ginger: I’ve been expecting you.
Mother Ginger: Don’t you know it’s dangerous here.
Clara: [to Philip] I’m going to fix it. Will you help me?
Philip: [to Clara] It’s time to save the kingdom.
Drosselmeyer: It’s time.
Clara: She’s going to destroy everything my mother created!
Clara: It’s just the laws of physics.
Philip: Do those laws always work?
Clara: As far as I know.
Sugar Plum Fairy: [to Clara, referring to Mother Ginger] She’s gathering her forces.
Drosselmeyer: [referring to Mother Ginger] You are the only one who can stop her.
Philip: I’m going to miss you.
Clara: I’ll miss you too. But when you miss someone, you remember them.
Philip: Are you sure?
Clara: And one day they’ll make you smile. I promise you.
Clara: Father, I’m so sorry.
Mr. Stahlbaum: I’m sorry. I’m sorry. This time has been extremely difficult, for all of us. I lost the love of my life, and you lost your mother.
Clara: And I will miss her every day of my life. But I don’t want to miss one more minute with you, or Louise, or Fritz.
Mr. Stahlbaum: [as they embrace each other] Shall we go home?
Clara: Don’t you owe me a dance first? After all, it’s what’s expected of us.
Mr. Stahlbaum: I suppose I do.
[Clara opens the music box]
Mr. Stahlbaum: Ah, you’ve opened it. Wasn’t so hard after all.
Clara: [as her father listens to the music] What is it?
Mr. Stahlbaum: This is the very song that your mother and I first danced to.
[they start dancing to the music when Louise and Fritz find them]
Louise: May we join you?
Fritz: I want to dance.
Mr. Stahlbaum: Please do.