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Look out for more coverage of
The Golden Compass in our magazines

THE MOVIE: The Golden Compass

THE STARS:
Nicole Kidman • Dakota Blue Richards • Daniel Craig • Sam Elliott
DIRECTOR: Chris Weitz

Poster artwork THE CONCEPT:
Based on the first story in Philip Pullman’s 'His Dark Materials' trilogy. Set in an alternative world where people’s souls manifest themselves as animals, the story centers around Lyra (Richards), a 12 year old who starts out trying to rescue a friend who’s been kidnapped by a mysterious organization known as Gobblers – and finds herself on an epic quest.

U.S. RELEASE: December 7 2007, Nationwide • Rated: PG-13

THE COMMENTS:

NICHOLE KIDMAN (Marisa Coulter):
Publicity artwork“I’m not a huge fan of Fantasy. In terms of film-making, I’ve always been drawn to more psychological drama, but I think what drew me to this was the intricacies of the characters allow strong performances, and that’s what I found compelling about it. In terms of fairy tales, I grew up with a lot of literature because my mother always would read to me, a lot of Roald Dahl, obviously the Narnia Chronicles, and I really think that when you have a film like this that people feel so passionately about, it’s wonderful.”

DANIEL CRAIG (Lord Astriel) on being a part of another franchise:
Publicity artwork“It didn’t really cross my mind. I genuinely was such a fan of the books that when I heard that they were making it I thought, ‘I’d like to do this. I’d like to get involved.’ I’m such a big Philip Pullman fan and his philosophies and his morals and the way he looks at the world and mostly the lessons in the stories. He does what he does brilliantly as a writer. He writes children’s stories, but with major adult themes and major ideas about being a good person and making the right choices.”

KIDMAN on playing Mrs Coulter:
“I’m 40 years old and I’m playing some of the greatest roles I’ve had the opportunity to play in the last couple of years. With Mrs Coulter, I hope we get to make all three films because I love playing her and obviously it’s just a tiny bit of her right now, but if you know the rest of the trilogy, the way in which it explodes, opens up and the layers of her are peeled away, are exciting to me. I see her as very complicated, obviously she’s morally questionable at times, and it gives away the film if I talk about it too much, but there is a pulse in her heart beating her, that’s driving her to do things.”

CRAIG:
“I liked the fact that [Lord Asriel] is a bit of a revolutionary. Basically he wants to mix everything up. Knowledge is the most important thing for him and the only way you’re going to find knowledge if there’s somewhere to go and explore. You need to go and explore because that knowledge, even if it does you bad, will change things. Change is always good and that’s where I think his passion comes from.”

KIDMAN on her inspiration for Mrs Coulter:
“I scoured the books. It’s beautiful when you can find all the intricacies of her. I actually used a highlighter pen and I wrote it all out and I managed to paste together her history.”

CRAIG on the religious controversy surrounding the film:
“I’m not surprised, I get that, and I know Phillip has been very vocal about that. I don’t think the story is anti-religious in any way. I think what they’re more against is the control and misuse of power that any organized religion or any political organization exercise over people they’re supposed to represent. I think the classic thing is the majority of the people who are criticizing it probably haven’t read the books and they need to.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official The Golden Compass site
Images above © New Line Cinema
Feature © 2007 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #691, January 2008 cover

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Ultimate DVD, October 2007 cover

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