The Grinch

Tom’s Rating: 7/10 – Lucy’s Rating: 10/10.

Well, Lucy liked this one - a lot! It probably helped that we went to see it at midday, when the film did not have to compete with post-work fatigue. All in all, The Grinch was good fun, far less dark than the 2000 Jim Carrey version, and we definitely left craving green eggs and ham.

Visually, 2018 Whoville is stunning! A multi-tiered, tobogganing paradise with cheery steampunk-esque shop fronts, triple-decker busses, and not a whiff of world-crisis in sight. This town is as hygge as it gets. The Grinch’s own lair, with all its gizmos, gadgets, and cavernous rooms was almost the perfect antidote to Whoville’s overwhelming sweetness. But then, except for the dust in the organ, it felt less Heath Robinson and more evil genius.

Aside from the aesthetic, I really liked how understated Benedict Cumberbatch was in his role as the Grinch. This film could have traded on the reputation of its cast, but it was all the better for not doing so. Cumberbatch was the Grinch, rather than the Grinch becoming Benedict Cumberbatch.

Just as affable was the boisterous Cindy Lou, the Who with a heart two sizes too big. This miniature Who provides a new and heart-warming narrative to this well-known story, as she tries to improve the lot of her overworked but superhuman mum. Her quest to capture Santa was funny and endearing, and the scenes with best friend Groopert were really rather cute!

Unfortunately, I found the ensemble of animals less cute. They were little more than a marketing ploy, serving to promote a range of toys rather than any meaningful plot development. I know, I know, I’m being a Grinch… In all fairness, Max, the Grinch’s beloved dog, does get some serious screen time, and owns some of the best laugh-out-loud moments of the film.

In all, The Grinch is a fresh take on a Dr. Seuss classic. The final scenes will undoubtedly make your heart swell! With the world as it is this winter, this film is 90 minutes of blissful distraction.

Thomas Robinson
Thomas Robinson
DPhil Student

I am a political scientist studying representation, experimental methods and computational social science.