Molly Moon and the Incredible Book of Hypnotism Parent Review
Take the script for Annie, tweak it a bit and you have Molly Moon and the Incredible Book of Hypnotism. Like the 1984 musical, this film portrays a group of orphans in the care of a nasty caretaker, in this case Miss Addertone (Lesley Manville). Since she really wants nothing to do with her charges, she leaves their supervision to Edna (Celia Imrie) who runs the kitchen and Miss Trinklebury (Emily Watson) who provides the hands-on care for the children.
Molly Moon (Raffey Cassidy) has lived in the orphanage since she was dropped off on the front steps in a Moon Marshmallow box. Like the other children, she dreams of being adopted. But instead of finding a home, she stumbles upon a book about hypnotism. Soon she realizes she can get just about anything she wants by putting people under her spell. And what she appears to want more than anything is to be rich and famous.
Luckily her form of hypnotism doesn’t require any swinging watches. All Molly has to do is stare down her “victims” to put them in a trance. In next to no time she is sleeping in the penthouse apartment of an expensive hotel (at no cost) and wowing fans with her singing abilities (of which she has supposedly none) thanks to her hypnotic gaze.
Unfortunately she’s not the only one who appreciates the power of hypnotism. At the behest of his mother (Joan Collins), a bungling burglar (Dominic Monaghan) is trying to steal the book from Molly and use it himself.
Molly’s reliance on hypnotism might not sit well with all parents, and understandably so. Not only is she “cheating” her way to success, some may accuse her of dabbling with the occult. Thankfully her spellbinding skills are portrayed as more comical than supernatural. The film also contains numerous scenes of slapstick comedy where characters fall, bump, crash and bumble their way through a series of silly scenarios. Also of concern are the depictions of a kidnapping and bank robbers are shown with guns.
While the storyline might be juvenile, the movie brings together a strong cast of talented British actors who have demonstrated their abilities in a wide range of family films. Watson recently appeared in War Horse, Belle and The Book Thief. Celia Imrie starred in Nanny McPhee and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Dominic Monaghan may be best known for his appearance in The Lord of the Rings movies and Ben Miller has proven his comedic timing in Johnny English and The Prince & Me. In Molly Moon and the Incredible Book of Hypnotism, these performers keep the story from taking itself too seriously.
And as long as viewers don’t take the story too seriously either, this film will likely appeal to a tween audience, especially those that dream of making it big on the stage. And hopefully, like Molly, they’ll realize there is more to life than seeing your name in lights.Directed by Christopher N. Rowley. Starring Dominic Monaghan, Lesley Manville, Emily Watson, Joan Collins, Raffey Cassidy. Running time: 97 minutes. Theatrical release August 14, 2015. Updated August 26, 2015
Get details on profanity, sex and violence in Molly Moon and the Incredible Book of Hypnotism here.
Molly Moon and the Incredible Book of Hypnotism Parents Guide
How does Molly justify using hypnotism to get what she wants? What happens when the hotel manager discovers what she has done? Why is fame so important to Molly?
Many of the characters make changes for the better in this movie. What does Molly discover is the most important thing in her life? Who teaches her about showing kindness to others? What changes does the bungling burglar make? What about the young singing star?