Under a thick carpet of green-dyed yak fur and wonderfully expressive Rick Baker makeup, Jim Carrey is up to all of his old tricks (and some nifty new ones) in this live-action movie of Dr. Seuss's holiday classic. He commands the title role with equal parts madness, mayhem, pathos, and improvisational genius, channeling Grinchness through his own screen persona so smoothly that fans of both Carrey and Dr. Seuss will be thoroughly satisfied. Adding to the fun is a perfectly pitched back-story sequence (accompanied by Anthony Hopkins's narration) that explains how the Grinch came to hate Christmas, with a heart "two sizes too small." Ron Howard proves a fine choice for the director's chair with a keen balance of comedy, sentiment, and light-hearted Seussian whimsy. Production designer Michael Corenblith gloriously realizes the wackiness of Whoville architecture, and his rendition of the Grinch's Mt. Crumpit lair is a marvel of cartoonish, subterranean grime. Then there's Cindy Lou Who (Taylor Momsen), the thoughtful imp who rallies her village to recapture the pure spirit of Christmas and melts the gift-stealing Grinch's cold, cold heart. You've even got a dog (the Grinch's good-natured mongrel, Max) who's been perfectly cast, so what's not to like about this dazzling yuletide movie? The production gets a bit overwhelmed by its own ambition, and the citizens of Whoville (including Jeffrey Tambor, Christine Baranski, Molly Shannon, and Bill Irwin) pale in comparison to Carrey's inspired lunacy, but who cares? If a movie can unleash Jim Carrey at his finest, revamp the Grinch story, and still pay tribute to the legacy of Dr. Seuss, you can bet it qualifies as rousing entertainment. (Ages 5 and older.) --Jeff Shannon
All the Whos down in Whoville liked Christmas a lot, but the Grinch, who lived just north of Whoville, did not. The Grinch hated Christmas - the whole Christmas season. Oh, please don't ask why, no one quite knows the reason. It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight. Or maybe his head wasn't screwed on just right. But I think that the best reason of all may have been that his heart was two sizes too small.
Cindy Lou Who:
Santie Claus, why are you taking our Christmas tree, why?
But do you know, the Grinch was so smart and so slick, that he thought up a lie and he thought it up quick.
Why my sweet little tot,
- -the fake Santie Claus lied -...
...there's a light on this tree that won't light on one side. So I'm taking it home to my work shop, my dear. I'll fix it up there, then I'll bring it back here.
And his fib fooled the child. So he got her a drink and he patted her head and he sent her to bed. And when Cindy Lou Who was in bed with her cup he crupt to the chimney and stuffed the tree up. Then he went up the chimney himself, the old liar, and the last thing he took was the log for their fire.
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