First Hit: At best, mildly entertaining.
The premise of this film that has Mr. Magorium (Dustin Hoffman) handing over his store to his main clerk and manager (Natalie Portman) who is a frustrated composer and is trying to find her way through life.
The film is telegraphed from the beginning and each turn tries your patience. The best parts of this film are the moments when the camera moves through the store without the main characters being the focus.
There are some wonderfully creative and visual moments in this magical store but the story could have been left outside and the film wouldn’t have suffered much. Character wise, Zach Mills, playing Eric Applebaum did a nice job of holding character and his innocence and optimism shines through.
However, I cannot begin to think what Dustin Hoffman was doing talking through his front teeth like a chipmunk. It wasn’t required for the part and I don’t understand why he (or the director) would choose to do this.
Natalie Portman does a good job of acting her character of Molly Mahoney a frustrated composer who is on the receiving end of Mr. Magorium’s gift of the store he has had for 243 years. However, no matter how well she cries on queue or how wonderful she looks with the short hair and open lovely smile, there is nothing in this script that gives it enough chops to bring out her character.
Overall: This is a video only film with the family or for fluff.