The holiday movie season is well underway with titles including The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, The Marvels, and Napoleon offering up plenty of options for theatergoers. Now that we’re reaching December, new titles such as Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will swim into cinemas, with many setting their sights on the Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory prequel, Wonka. And, the critics who have already sunk their teeth into the film have had nothing but good things to say about Timothee Chalamet’s performance as the chocolatier.
Critics Love Timothee Chalamet’s Charming Portrayal Of Willy Wonka
According to Variety, the film’s first reactions are calling it a “winning confection” and “an instant holiday classic. With nothing but positive things to say about both Chalamet and his fellow leading man and head Oompa Loompa, Hugh Grant, film critic Courtney Howard reported that Wonka was “filled with perfect amounts of charm,” and that Chalamet “is a charisma factory.” Of Grant’s performance, Howard said, “Hugh Grant in exceptional IDGAF mode.”
A Sweet Film Filled With Entertaining Songs
Likewise, Germain Lussier, the senior reporter at Gizmodo, had only the highest of praise to pour onto Chalamet, referring to the actor as “infinitely charming & a blast to watch.” Of Wonka as a whole, Lussier wrote that the moving pieces weren’t “as good” as the leading man’s performance but that it was nevertheless “enjoyable.” As for the musical numbers that audiences can expect to hear, the critic said “The songs are delightful.”
Finally, film critic Perri Nemiroff called the production “a super charming delight powered by an exceptional & pitch-perfect performance from Timothée Chalamet.” Agreeing with others, Nemiroff admitted that Wonka “can get quite silly,” adding that there were multiple times that the “plot points” were lacking but that overall, it was “an impossibly sweet film.”
A Young Willy Wonka
Directed by Paul King, the same filmmaker behind Paddington and Paddington 2, Wonka follows the story of Willy Wonka’s younger years and the path that he took to become the world-renowned candy maker. It’s a hard road to become the best in the biz and, at the beginning of his journey, Wonka is having a tough time opening his premiere storefront. The film also tells the tale of how Wonka met up with the Oompa Loompas in the first place and, along with spoken lines, it also consists of plenty of musical numbers.
Along with Chalamet and Grant, Wonka also stars Olivia Colman (The Favourite), Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean), Keegan-Michael Key (Schmigadoon), Calah Lane (The Day Shall Come), Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water), and Matt Lucas (The Great British Bake Off).
Wonka arrives in theaters on December 15, so it will find itself in that sweet spot just as kids are beginning their holiday break with many families looking to take a break from the festivities with a movie. While most of the titles arriving next month are geared toward adults, Wonka’s primary competition will be the animated feature, Migration and possibly Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, depending on the age of viewers.
The Holiday Box Office
Many have been expecting Aquaman and the Last Kingdom to be the major theatrical tentpole, drawing audiences into the cinema, but after reading about the positive feedback that Wonka’s received, there’s a chance that it will blow Jason Momoa’s latest film out of the water. It seems that DC fans have already turned on the superhero sequel so perhaps its viewers will use their money on Wonka tickets instead. With the winter box office numbers up for grabs, it’s all a fair game.