Even though it hasn’t seen widespread release in America yet (it isn’t hitting my town until January), Guillermo del Toro’s film “Pan’s Labyrinth” is topping several year-end “best of” lists. Stephanie Zacharek of Salon.com has placed it in her top ten of 2006, and bestselling horror author Stephen King has made it his number one movie pick of the year.
“I happened to see this in July and was completely seduced by its beauty and emotional ferocity. Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Mimic, Blade II) directed, and to call this his best work isn’t enough. I think this extraordinary R-rated fairy tale for adults is the best fantasy film since The Wizard of Oz. And while it’s much darker than Wizard, it still celebrates the human spirit. Your Uncle Stevie thinks you will see this movie.”
Other best-of lists include the Miami Herald’s, Glenn Whipp’s (LA Daily News), indieWIRE’s (five different writers there placed it in their best-of lists), the New York Film Critics Online, and The San Francisco Film Critics Circle. It has also been nominated for a Golden Globe.
Could this fantastical Pagan-friendly film be a surprise hit of 2007? Could it go on to be nominated for an Academy Award next year? All I know is that I can’t wait to see this film. I’m very glad that Guillermo del Toro turned down “The Chronicles of Narnia”, (he ‘wasn’t interested in the lion resurrecting’) in order to produce this labor of love.