Terry Gilliam's latest fantastical adventure, titled The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, screened at the Cannes Film Festival a little while ago, and the first reviews are out. The film, which is obviously drawing more press because it features Heath Ledger's final performance, is, like most of Gilliam's films, a little on the weird side (read the full synopsis after the jump). When Ledger passed away without finishing his work on the movie, it appeared as if the Gilliam curse had struck again -- leaving him little choice but to either scrap the entire film or hire a new lead actor and re-shoot all his scenes. Thankfully Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell and Jude Law came to the rescue, and they somehow found a way to have these three gents finish Ledger's remaining scenes by playing alternate-dimension versions of the same character. So what's the final outcome?
"... the film's convoluted curlicues are tiring, insisting too loudly on how "imaginative" everything is. And when it descends into the real world – Lucy out of the sky without diamonds, as it were – the film can frankly be a bit ho-hum, with some very broad acting from the bit-part crowd players. Gilliam's previous movie Tideland showed he still has teeth, and he bares them occasionally here. The dark side reveals itself, time and again, in the ruined, unsentimental locations in London. But this movie, though perfectly amiable, could be for fans only." -- Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
"Synthesizing elements from several of his previous pictures, including "Time Bandits," "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen" and "The Fisher King," the often overreaching director addresses a mad hatter of a story with the expected visual panache and what is, for him, considerable discipline. With Ledger onscreen more than might have been expected, the film possesses strong curiosity value bolstered by generally lively action and excellent visual effects, making for good commercial prospects in most markets." Todd McCarthy, Variety
More quotes, a scene featuring Ledger and the synopsis after the jump ...