Written and directed by Alan Parker
I don’t know if I’ve ever seen this movie before, although it seems like the kind of thing I’d have enjoyed as a kid. But I do remember going and seeing a stage version of it when my sister was in high school. I remember being very dedicated to the character of Fizzy. Love that Fizz. Watching it again I still feel that way. Fizzy is MVP.
It’s a strange conceit for a movie to be sure. A gangland crime movie where the guns shoot cream and all the characters are played by children. The story is sanitised for children and came out with a G rating although there is quite a lot of simulated violence.
It’s beautifully made. The costumes, the sets, the set pieces, the cars which are pedal cars but look like real ones, the choreography is all stunning. The kids aren’t the best actors all round, I have to say but that kinda adds to the charm. I felt like I was watching a school play and not just because I have seen this as a school play. Tiny Scott Baio and tiny Jodie Foster are definitely the most compelling actors, playing with confidence that some of the other kids don’t seem to have.
It’s funny and the kids are all obviously having a ball pretending to be adults and wearing fake moustaches or high heels. I enjoyed the songs a lot, and there’s some awesome dance sequences.
Does it make me love the people? Sure it does, especially Fizzy, Blousey, Bugsy. Tallulah a little too because Jodie Foster is just so cool.
Bechdel test: Yes! Velma talks to Tallulah:
Velma: You ever seen a broad carry a torch so high?
Tallulah: Yeah, the Statue of Liberty.
… well, that’s debatably about Bugsy I suppose, but Bangs talks to all the showgirls (Velma, Blousey, they’re all named I think) about if her purple dress looks all right or not, it’s a pretty long sequence.
Bugsy Malone: Have you eaten?
Blousey Brown: Ever since I was a kid.
Bugsy Malone: Then how come you’re so skinny, wisey?
Blousey Brown: Because I watch my weight.
Bugsy Malone: Yeah, I do that when I’m broke too.
Best song and dance:
State of Mind: It was cute, good fun. I don’t know if it’s such a show stopping game changer that I’d put it on my personal top 500 movies of all time.. but this isn’t my list. Some of the songs will definitely stick in my mind though, no doubt about that. Overall it’s maybe a bit long to really snag my interest, or maybe it’s just that I watched this while home sick so I kind of feel crap about everything.