SUNDANCE 2020 FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW! What happens when Brenda Chapman, co-writer and director of Brave steps away from the world of animation? The pure magic that is Come Away. What is, by design, a movie for kids, doesn’t hesitate to dazzle even the most jaded of adults (and when I say that, I am referring to myself). It also deals with subject matter that most adults are familiar with either personally or by proxy. Alcoholism, gambling addiction, and death torment the Littleton family who are at the center of Come Away. What is unique about this film is how the children deal with these horrible circumstances.
“…not just any Peter and Alice, they are the Peter and Alice…”
Angelina Jolie stars as Rose Littleton, a delightful woman with a grand child-like attitude towards life. Her husband is Jack, played by David Oyelowo, who crafts replicas of ships as a trade and is also exceptionally young at heart. They have three children: David, Peter, and Alice. It doesn’t take too long before we discover that Peter and Alice (played by Jordan A. Nash and Keira Chansa respectively) are not just any Peter and Alice, they are the Peter and Alice, as in Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland. We witness the children building imaginary worlds that feature the white rabbit, the lost boys, the red queen, and more.
Come Away would be cute enough if the children’s imaginary worlds were the basis for famous stories, but it certainly wouldn’t have the substance that it now possesses. A tragedy befalls the Littleton family, leaving Alice and Peter without David (Reece Yates), who they both looked up to as a personal hero. Their parents are individually falling apart over the tragedy and aren’t giving their children much solace, falling into their own disastrous coping mechanisms instead. Alice and Peter further retreat into their own respective worlds, but it’s really fun when the worlds of Alice In Wonderland and Peter Pan come together.