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Practical Magic

Get the Bird; Get the Book

Practical Magic, what isn't appealing about this movie? Even the title itself is alluring as the house featured in this film. Practical Magic is one of those movies that has the right amount of Hollywood blended in with a touch of realism. The plots and subplots are both interesting and Sally and Gillian Owens are just a joy to watch. The movie starts off in a small town back in the early settlements of colonial America. Where we see a pretty woman about to be hung. It's quickly revealed that she is a witch who wasn't afraid to use her powers once in a while. Scared yet daring the woman named “Maria” steps off the scaffold, her rope mysteriously snaps as her feet touch the ground. Her penetrating stare startles the villagers as they take off running. Ooh, so the beginning isn't so original but the movie becomes more enticing by the minute.

We soon find out that Maria in her anger and disappointment of being left alone to raise her child put a curse upon herself. Which carried through her family line, for all her daughters to experience. Anyone to Love an “Owens” woman would soon find themselves well, dead. We soon fast forward to a family enjoying a days out on the beach, which one can only presume was some time in the 70's. The curse strikes again and we see two young girls walk up to a grand house. Where we finally see the narrators, AKA- the aunts. Aunt Frances (Stockard Channing) and Aunt Jet (Diane Wiest). They take in there nieces with loving arms and explain to them the situation they're living in and talk about the curse that has haunted their family for ages. We later see a woman raving mad as she comes seeking the aunts help in the middle of the night. She's obsessed with a man and wants a love spell done, making him leave his wife and to love only her. The aunts warn her of her choice but ultimately, cast the spell, leaving Sally and Gillian with difference in opinion about love.

Time soon passes and Sally (Sandra Bullock) who's matured faster is more cautious and shy about love and life in general. While Gillian (Nicole Kidman) is free, open, and more than ready to move on with her love life and life in general. Gillian is ready to leave the house with a new boyfriend but before she leaves she makes a blood oath with her sister Sally, promising to always return and be there for her in their time of need. With a loving embrace Gillian climbs down the balcony and runs off into the night. Sally on the other hand is having more difficulty at finding love and also misses her sister dearly. The aunts who seemed a bit tired of Sally's lack of ambition in the dating department see a spark between her and a local man, a delivery truck worker. Who I'd like to mention looks a lot like the man the woman was begging to get, years back when they were children. Coincidence? I think he's the offspring of that most likely disaster. I don't know. Sorry got sidetracked there for a moment, carrying on. Sally's gardening in the afternoon when suddenly a loud bell rings. Sally, mesmerized, stops what she's doing and high tails it out of her aunts yard and right into the arms of the stranger.

Oh Oh! We soon see that Sally has reared two daughter of her own. One red haired, Kylie and one brunette, Antonia, just like her and her sister Gillian. It seems the Owens sisterhood lives on. Sally isn't the only one who's happy, Gillian is living out her promiscuous bliss and are both seemingly  happy in the department of men. Of course the Owens women have a curse and the sound of the “Deathwatch Beetle” comes warning Sally one morning. Leaving her in a tirade of tearing up her beautiful wooden floor to try to get to that sucker. Sadly her husband doesn't make it and once again, bitter, alone, and depressed she has returned to her aunts home. Where she has set a standard of “normalcy” hoping that her daughters won't live through the same abuse her and her sister did so long ago.

Practical Magic is one of those films that you'll either love or just think it's “Ehh” okay. I have yet met a person who plain out hates the film regardless of how different the film's adaptation is from the book written by Alice Hoffman. The film is definitely entertaining to the say the least. Sally and Gillian provide a good sisterly feeling. Bullock, Kidman, Channing, and Wiest have great chemistry on screen. The movie is not perfect, it does deliver in the homey, country, magical feeling though. So if you're in the mood for on screen magic along with a wallop or drama, and a zest of romance, then this movie is for you. 

Title: Practical Magic
Length: 104 min
Year: 1998
Director: Griffin Dunne
Starring:Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidnam, Stockard Channing, Dianne West, Aidan Quinn
Over All Score: A-  It's worth the watch. 
Entertaining: A- It's even paced, magic is everywhere in this movie and rarely has a dull moment.
Cinematography:B+ The sets and the setting of this movie is just plainly appealing to the eye it does a great job of creating atmosphere.
Storyline: B + Entertaining, and original enough to keep you watching.
Acting: B+ Acting from the main cast is done well, they are a few minor “goofs” which you may or may not catch.
A Solid variety of music, has a good line up in the soundtrack department and a memorable score. 

This post first appeared on A Witchy Film, please read the originial post: here

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Practical Magic


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