Matilda the Musical is the best family movie since Paddington 2


THE latest take on Roald Dahl’s beloved novel Matilda had it’s world premiere in London today.

Even though the much anticipated movie adaptation of the Tony and Olivier award winning muscial version of the story isn’t out until the end of November we have a first review for excited fans.

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Emma Thompson as the child-hating headmistress Miss TrunchbullCredit: DAN SMITH/NETFLIX
Incredible song and dance routines are central to Matilda the Musical

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Incredible song and dance routines are central to Matilda the MusicalCredit: DAN SMITH/NETFLIX

The Sun’s verdict is that this dazzling, family friendly film starring Emma Thompson can’t be missed.

Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical

(PG) 117mins

WE’VE all been told by our parents that “two wrongs don’t make a right.”

Super bright pupil Matilda throws that tired truism up in the air when she responds, “yeah, but what if it is right?”

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Roald Dahl stuck two fingers up at such conventions with his 1988 novel set in a prison-like school.

It was an anti-authority satire which called on the nation’s kids to rise up against their overbearing parents and strict headteachers.

Some grown-ups might think that wrong, but this musical adaptation gets every element of the great author’s book right, right, right.

Emma Thompson is glorious as headmistress from hell Miss Trunchbull, the English Hammer Throwing Champion 1959 who now takes to twirling pupils high into the sky via their pigtails.

No one can ham it up quite like Thompson and here she goes to town like never before, delivering lines like “check to see if the child is still alive, won’t you” with absolute glee.

Many people associate Stephen Graham with grim roles, but his comic timing is impeccable as Matilda’s dad who insists upon calling her “boy” because he’d wanted one rather than a girl.

Every time Graham and Thompson were on screen I found myself laughing out loud.

The real stars of Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical are the all-singing, all dancing child actors

Grant Rollings

Plaudits also go to newcomer Alisha Weir in the title role and Bond actress Lashana Lynch as Matilda’s kindly teacher Miss Honey, whose on screen chemistry delivers an emotional punch.

But the real stars of Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical are the all-singing, all dancing child actors who bring everything to multi-colour, glittering life.

I could watch the huge choreographed numbers, set to comedian Tim Minchin’s whip smart lyrics and songs again and again.

They are what lift this way above the 1996 adaptation of Matilda starring Danny DeVito and add extra energy to the brilliant, award winning stage show on which this is based.

Apart from the long-winded title there is nothing to criticise in what is the best family movie since Paddington 2.

To miss out on Matilda the Musical when it’s released on November 25 would be wrong, wrong, wrong.

★★★★★

Irish actress Alisha Weir plays Matilda

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Irish actress Alisha Weir plays MatildaCredit: DAN SMITH/NETFLIX
Stephen Graham and Andrea Riseborough play Matilda's mean parents

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Stephen Graham and Andrea Riseborough play Matilda’s mean parentsCredit: DAN SMITH/NETFLIX
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