'Tis the season when sweets and chocolates are consumed in masses around the world. Christmas time is always a great period of the year to release a fun family film and it's very apt that comes in the form of Wonka this year, a film that is all about the creation of such decadent treats, all while becoming one itself.

With dreams of opening a shop in a city renowned for its chocolate, a young and poor Willy Wonka (Timothée Chalamet) discovers that the industry is run by a cartel of greedy chocolatiers.
The film opens with it being presented as "A Paul King confection" and, while also being a delightful little joke, it's a film that further proves King has become somewhat of a master in delivering bright and joyful adventures for all the family to enjoy. His work on the Paddington films has been lauded enough and it's great to see him working wonders with another property, the writing he does with co-writer Simon Farnaby just so good for the soul. It's very funny while also being a surprisingly moving screenplay that makes all the confectionary nonsense feel worthwhile.

As a musical, this is where my biggest gripe with the film lies. There's a number of songs that don't quite hit the spot, while serving the film well mind. When watching a musical, if the songs aren't ingrained in my mind when it finishes, it feels like it has failed me a little bit. It's where the imaginative nature of the film and choreography come into play and dig them out of a hole a bit. Must admit though, hearing Hugh Grant sing Oompa Loompa might just be the cinematic moment of the year.
Leading the film is a charismatic and joyous performance from Timothée Chalamet, an actor who has certainly grown on me over the years. There's a playful nature to his performance yet it's covering a sombre past involving his mother, Chalamet excelling at masking it to help others. Calah Lane is an absolute delight as Noodle, her youthfulness most welcome amidst a much older ensemble cast. They get to have their fun as well mind; Olivia Colman hamming it up as the devious Mrs Scrubbit to glorious effect, Paterson Joseph hilarious as the villainous Slugworth, Keegan-Michael Key's Chief of Police with only greed on his mind and, of course, Hugh Grant as an Oompa Loompa with a sense of sarcasm in the era of his career where he just wants to enjoy himself.

Wonka is fantastical filmmaking on a large scale that will provide copious amounts of fun for families around the world. If they make any more, they'd be stupid not to get Paul King back because the man can simply do no wrong.

Verdict: ★★★★


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