MATILDA THE MUSICAL FILM Premieres at the BFI London Film Festival

The new film adaptation of Matilda the Musical premiered today at the BFI London Film Festival.

A remake of the Tony and Olivier Award-winning musical. Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical tells the story of an extraordinary girl with a vivid imagination who dares to take a stand to change history for her with miraculous results.

The film stars Academy Award winner Emma Thompson, Lashana Lynch, Andrea Riseborough and Stephen Graham, plus newcomer Alisha Weir as Matilda.

Directed by Tony Award-winning director Matthew Warchus (Matilda The Musical), the film is produced by Eric Fellner and Tim Bevan for Working Title, Jon Finn (Billy Elliot) and Luke Kelly for The Roald Dahl Story Company. Screenwriter Dennis Kelly adapts the Royal Shakespeare Company production for the big screen, with original music and lyrics by Tim Minchin.

Before the film hits theaters on December 9 and Netflix on December 25, read what critics thought of the highly anticipated movie musical below. Check back later for updates as more reviews are released.


Guy Lodge, Variety: “Warchus’ film draws primarily from what has already worked on stage: the fast-paced, lyrical wordplay and energetic screaming delivery of Minchin’s songs, the deliberately heavy stomping of Peter Darling’s choreography, and the pantomime presence on the rise of his villain and, let’s be honest, star attraction. Enjoying a conventionally played role on stage, breaking down in each of his scenes with enhanced arms akimbo, Thompson is completely a scream.”

Stephanie Bunbury, deadline: From the moment it begins, with a series of brightly lit babies in cribs “singing” about how their loving parents think they’re all geniuses, it’s clear that Warchus and crew have not only adapted the stage musical but rethought it. , top Down. Clever staging gives way to visual extravagance.”

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Nikki Braughn, daily screen: “Matilda’s struggle against authoritarianism is further explored in lavish song-and-dance numbers, with dazzling choreography by Ella Kane performed by an enthusiastic cast. Like Dahl, Tim Minchin has a gift for blending the horrific and the humorous so that neither one overwhelms the other, and their songs confront difficult moments instead of trying to gloss over them”.

Clarisse Loughrey, Independent: “There is no attempt to improve on the source material of the Tony-winning stage adaptation, written by Tim Minchin and Dennis Kelly; it just wants to faithfully translate its spirit… The Matilda we have here, then, formally titled Matilda the Musical from Roald Dahl – is a sparkling, whimsical delight that encompasses all the expectations we already had for him.”

Charlotte O’Sullivan, Evening Standard: Warchus’ wonderful 2014 film Pride was a more consistent affair. But that he and the rest of the Matilda the Musical crew have retained much of the show’s bite is still impressive. The best moments are extraordinary and Thompson’s Trunchbull will haunt my dreams, possibly forever.”

Shannon Connellian, Mashable: “Warchus and Kelly bring their stage prowess to big ensemble numbers like the apricot-and-aquamarine-painted opening theme “Miracle” and the big, brash, throwing-everything finale, “Revolting Children.” Stage favourite, “School Song,” features sharp choreography performed by the young cast, charging in unison towards the camera during tours of the hallways and translating the stage version’s exceptional alphabet sequence into a hands-on tour of the school classroom doors.”

Ella Kemp, IndieWire: “The new film is as faithful as can be to the stage musical, with performances full of heartfelt energy and unparalleled faith in that clever little girl. But both versions of ‘Matilda the Musical’ lose sight of the book’s original poignancy of Dahl.”

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Check out the teaser trailer for the new movie here:

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