What a cast! We are in a small southern town which our young hero Ethan longs to escape; his long-dead mother told him that the secret was the town library. As a result of meeting the new girl in his high school class, he uncovers a dark history about his town, his family, and a whole bunch of hocus pocus that seemed to involve immortals. There were flashbacks to the Civil War and something about a medallion. I found that part confusing...
This PG-13 Fantasy/Drama stars:
- Alden Ehrenreich ("Twixt") is Ethan, our young bookworm longing for better things, but he understands the human condition. This actor has such an ingenuous manner, it makes him winning, witty and sweet.
- Alice Englert ("Singularity") is Lena, the mysterious new girl. On her sixteenth birthday she may or may not join The Dark Side. She thinks being a mortal might be the answer to all her problems. This actress has a charming toothy smile so we can see why he finds her so appealing.
- Emmy Rossum ("Phantom of the Opera") as Ridley, the siren calling our heroine to The Dark Side. I first saw this actress as a gawky, barefoot hillbilly in a charming 2000 movie called "Songcatcher." She's come a LONG way!
- Jeremy Irons ("Margin Call") as Macon, who knows the only way to protect his niece from The Dark Side is to get that mortal teenager out of her life! Irons can certainly pull off a good Southern accent!
- Emma Thompson ("Sense and Sensibility") is Mrs. Lincoln, always on guard against sinful books and unsavory people (gays, blacks, Democrats, the list goes on and on). This wonderful actress practically steals the show with her authentic accent, creepy attitude and convincing delivery.
- Viola Davis ("The Help") is Amma, the local librarian who has helped raise our young hero ever since his mother died about 10 years ago. Davis raises the bar for any movie she is in.
- Eileen Atkins ("Cranford") makes an elegant Gramma, who understands all about "The Spell," but hopes her granddaughter can break it. This wonderful British actress earned a BAFTA for her work in the miniseries "Cranford."
- Margo Martindale ("Seabiscuit") is Aunt Del; her top-heavy wig never falls over, and that in itself is noteworthy. This is the actress who was so chilling in both "Justified" and "Million Dollar Baby."
The script by Richard LaGravenese ("Water For Elephants") offers wonderfully witty, characters; my main problem is that the direction by Richard LaGravenese ("Freedom Writers") leaves a lot of plot holes...smile...