Title Matchup: Alice vs Alice

by Noodle Break

Continuing with the Title Matchup series, Noodle Break pits Woody Allen’s Alice (1990) against Jan Švankmajer’s Alice (1988).

Mia Farrow stars as the eponymous heroine in AliceWoody Allen’s whimsical comedy about a Manhattan socialite wife, who finds herself neurotically attracted to a handsome saxophone player. When her catholic guilt manifests itself in the form of a backache, the mousey Alice is advised to consult the mysterious Dr. Yang, where she is given a selection of mystical herbs with life altering consequences. With Allen’s usual sharp wit and touches of magical realism, Alice is a sometimes amusing, sometimes annoying feature that lacks the nuance and humour of the director’s finest work, but is bolstered by a charming performance from Farrow as the title character. It is a quirky, harmless picture, but ultimately forgettable.

Jan Švankmajer takes Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and gives it a surreal macabre twist in his 1988 Czechoslovakian film, Alice. As per usual with Švankmajer, the film imaginatively combines live action performances with his signature stop-motion animation, and the result is visually spectacular, wonderfully mesmerising and undoubtedly creepy. It also features a captivating child performance from Kristýna Kohoutová, who not just plays the eponymous Alice, but also acts as a kind of narrator, voicing the puppets as if she was reading from the storybook. Of all the adaptations of this classic children’s novel, this would have to be the definitive one to see.

While Allen’s Alice isn’t without charm, Švankmajer’s Alice is a beautifully crafted film with some of the most spectacular animation I have ever seen. The winner is clear.

The Winner: Alice (1988)


Follow me on Twitter @NoodleBreak

You can also find my other writings here.

Thanks for reading and comment below!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s