Last night, Dear Reader, the Clan Wellthisiswhatithink sat down to watch a movie chosen at random from the seemingly innumerable flims now available in Australia across so many viewing platforms that one could literally never get up from the couch and never get bored either.
Tomorrowland is an American science fiction mystery/adventure film directed by Brad Bird, and co-written and produced by Bird and Damon Lindelof. The film stars the ever-reliable George Clooney, the ineffably wonderful British actor Hugh Laurie, rapid up-and-comer Britt Robertson, and pint-sized British child actress Raffey Cassidy. In the film, a disillusioned genius inventor (Clooney) and a teenage science enthusiast (Robertson), embark to an ambiguous dimension known as “Tomorrowland”, where their actions directly affect the world and themselves.
The writers called their movie Tomorrowland, after the futuristic themed land found at Disney theme parks. In drafting their screenplay, Bird and Lindelof took inspiration from the progressive cultural movements of the Space Age in the 1950s and ’60s, as well as Walt Disney’s optimistic philosophy of innovation and utopia, particularly his conceptual vision for the planned community known as EPCOT.
Tomorrowland received mixed reviews from critics; earning praise for its visuals, original premise, and themes, but criticism in regards to the writing and story execution. The film also performed below expectations at the box office. That shouldn’t put you off seeing it. This is a movie with much more to recommend it than should be criticised. The central performances are excellent, it is frequently very funny, and occasionally very moving. It is also, albeit somewhat clumsily, rather thought-provoking.
But the absolute must see driver to see Tomorrowland is to watch the performance of Raffey Cassidy as the animatronic robot sent to Earth to find dreamers who have not yet lost their optimism and enthusiasm.
She is known for her roles in Snow White and the Huntsman (2012), and Mr Selfridge (2013), but it is in Tomorrowland that she may have found her breakthrough moment. Born near Manchester just thirteen short years ago, her performance reveals real emotional depth as well as astonishing self-possession. She also has a range of emotional expression – from self-regarding humour to aching pathos – that marks her out already as one for the future.
In 2013 Cassidy was named on Screen International magazine’s “Stars of Tomorrow” when she was just 11, making her the youngest actor to be featured on the annual and highly prestigious list that has included, in the past, the likes of Emily Blunt, Benedict Cumberbatch, James McAvoy, Natalie Dormer, Robert Pattinson, this years Best Actor Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne, Rebecca Hall, Hayley Atwell, Holliday Grainger, Emilia Clarke, and other hugely successful figures of TV and Cinema.
Interestingly, she was nominated in the same year as another of our picks, Rose Leslie, who has already starred to great effect in TV’s Downton Abbey and Game of Thrones.
Raffey Cassidy. Keep an eye open.
You heard it here first. Well, almost.
PS If you watch the film, keep an eye open for the “swimming pool scene” when Robertson’s character first visits Tomorrowland. Simply stunning visually and imaginatively.