Emma Thompson leads a dazzling ensemble in this rousing big screen adaptation of the smash-hit, Olivier-winning stage musical.
Let them eat cake! Chocolate cake! Dahl’s story of a neglected, prodigiously brilliant little girl is given a joyous treatment in Matthew Warchus, Dennis Kelly and Tim Minchin’s musical. Matilda Wormwood (impressive newcomer Alisha Weir) was never wanted by her parents (played here with comedic slimeball hatefulness by Stephen Graham and Andrea Riseborough). She’s abandoned, with only library books for company – books far more sophisticated than most adults can absorb. When the authorities notice Matilda has never attended school, her parents hastily sign her up for Crunchem Hall, run by the fearsome Miss Trunchbull (Thompson).
Her teacher Miss Honey (Lashana Lynch) immediately recognises the child’s exceptional mind and Matilda is thrilled to be in her class. But that pleasure is quickly dashed by Trunchbull’s reign of terror. As Matilda’s fury at the head’s unjust cruelty to the other children grows, she decides to fight back, using her wit, creativity and some newly discovered telekinetic powers. Building on Minchin’s witty and addictively tuneful songwriting, Warchus has created an instant classic for all ages – the ultimate tale of girl power and the necessity of sometimes being a little bit naughty.