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Inkheart 

Inkheart German scribe Cornelia Funke’s wrote the lead role of Mortimer “Mo” Folchart with fantasy- adventure actor Brendan Fraser in mind. So it’s fitting that he actually got the role once director Iain Softley (Skeleton Key, The Wings of a Dove) signed onto the project. In Inkheart, Mo leads his 12-year-old daughter Meggie (Eliza Hope Bennett) and aunt Elinor (Helen Mirren) on a wild chase in search of the elusive Inkheart novel. Mo, who possesses the ability to make characters in a book come to life when he reads out loud, is trying to find the book so he can locate his wife Resa (Sienna Guillory), who’s been abducted by one of its characters, the evil Capricorn (Andy Serkis). Along the way, a man named Dustfinger (Paul Bettany) helps them out as they enter a world (really Northern Italy) that’s both fanciful and dangerous. While the movie’s a bit derivative of the fantasy films popular with tweens and teens (Harry Potter, Narnia and The Golden Compass), it’s very well-acted (Bettany and Mirren are especially good) and features a promising turn by newcomer Bennett. HH 1/2

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