“Pan's Labyrinth,” which won three 2007 Academy Awards including cinematography and art direction, will be screened at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 31, Monday, April 2 and Tuesday the 3rd, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 1 at the Smith Opera House, 82 Seneca St., Geneva.
Written and directed by Mexico's Guillermo Del Toro, the movie “artfully fuses a war film with a family melodrama and a fairy tale. The result is visually stunning and emotionally shattering. Though graphically violent in parts, it still manages to be enchanting.”
The heroine is Ofelia (played by Ivana Baquero), a little girl who gets through the grim aftermath of the Spanish Civil War by losing herself in folklore and fantasy stories. Her mother Carmen (Ariadna Gil), is taking Ofelia with her to a remote village to meet her new father, a sadistic Fascist captain named Vidal (Sergi López) who is leading an operation against Loyalist holdouts scattered in nearby hills.
Ofelia's only friends are the books she has brought with her and the captain's sympathetic but cautious servant Mercedes (Maribel Verdú, of “Y Tu Mamá También”), who is secretly spiriting food and medicine to the rebels in the nearby forest, still hoping to overthrow Franco's oppressive government.
The plot takes a twist when a greenish, buzzing insect that Ofelia befriended in the forest just before her arrival reappears to her and transforms, before her eyes, into a tiny flying man. He leads her to an underground lair where a strange faun (Doug Jones), with curly ram's horns and piercing feline eyes, reveals her true identity to her: He believes she is really Princess Moanna, daughter of the King of the Underworld. But before that's certain, she must perform three dangerous tasks.
This is del Toro's sixth feature, and it's not only one of the great fantasy pictures but one of the great end-of-childhood elegies.
In Spanish with English subtitles, “Pan's Labyrinth” is rated R and has a running time of 1:54. Tickets are $5 general admission and $3 for students and senior citizens and are available at the door or by visiting The Smith.