Wonka first reactions are in: is it the ultimate Christmas hit?
Early reactions suggest Timothée Chalamet smashes it as Wonka...
The first reactions to the premiere of big Christmas movie Wonka are in, and are mostly positive.
Before you get too excited, these are not the proper critic reviews we’ll see ahead of the film’s release on December 8 in the UK.
This is the circus of social media reactions, largely posted on Twitter/X by people who aren’t going to end up writing the reviews that sway the Rotten Tomatoes score.
However, this doesn’t mean they’re all posted by YouTubers who can be bought up with a bag of sweets and a promise of a future sponsored content deal.
Germain Lussier is a Gizmodo entertainment reporter who says Timothée Chalamet is a “blast” as Wonka, and the highlight of a film that while decent can’t quite match up to his performance.
Timothée Chalamet is reason alone to see #WonkaMovie. He’s infinitely charming & a blast to watch.
The movie around him isn’t as good but it’s enjoyable. The story & tone fight against each other leaving it a bit muddled. And yet it's filled with joy & the songs are delightful. pic.twitter.com/s1zlqtzIgv
— Germain Lussier (@GermainLussier) November 28, 2023
This represents something of a turnaround. So much of the Wonka pre-release scepticism over the last few months has centred around how supposedly bad the generally super-entertaining Chalamet is going to be.
Variety film writer and reviewer Courtney Howard is even more positive, and gives us something else to look forward to: Hugh Grant in “exceptional IDGAF mode.” Always a joy.
#Wonka/ #WonkaMovie is a winning confection, filled with perfect amounts of charm, whimsy & poignancy, powered by pure imagination & bright, nimble musical numbers. Timothée Chalamet is a charisma factory. His full committal is intoxicating. Hugh Grant in exceptional IDGAF mode. pic.twitter.com/vjKJqqY6ll
— Courtney Howard (@Lulamaybelle) November 28, 2023
Collider video producer Perri Nemiroff, much like Lussier, says Chalamet is the Wonka highlight. She has generally very positive things to say about the film as a whole, but doesn’t shy away from criticism either.
#Wonka is a super charming delight powered by an exceptional & pitch-perfect performance from Timothée Chalamet. It can get quite silly and there’s a few plot points that are a tad on the thin side, but that couldn’t stop such an impossibly sweet film with a hefty & very… pic.twitter.com/1SLMmRPSGY
— Perri Nemiroff (@PNemiroff) November 28, 2023
Variety’s Jazz Tangcay also highlights the film’s visuals and gives a shout out to the film’s production designer Nathan Crowley. We’d hope it to be strong in this area, given how iconic the look of the 1971 version is.
#Wonka is visually delightful. Shout out to Nathan Crowley, his world building is fantastical in every way. pic.twitter.com/JESCGvC4zS
— Jazz Tangcay (@jazzt) November 28, 2023
However, out favourite reaction has to go to IndieWire’s David Ehrlich. Here’s his concise take:
Wonka good. Paul King king.
— david ehrlich (@davidehrlich) November 28, 2023
As for Empire's Chris Hewitt - it's fair to say, he's a massive fan.
Well, it seems that the embargo is up, and I can now reveal the name of the film that I fell madly in love with. Or perhaps I won’t. https://t.co/ImqpQ5X57vpic.twitter.com/BuSfeOPTsS
— Chris Hewitt (@ChrisHewitt) November 29, 2023
While these early social media takes are far from a conclusion the film is genuinely good, we should also remember who’s at the helm here.
Wonka is directed by Paul King, director of both of the Paddington movies. He co-wrote this adaptation with UK comedy actor treasure Simon Farnaby, who also co-wrote Paddington 2. And even had a hand in writing the under-seen Mindhorn with Julian Barratt.
We’ve got fingers crossed this initial solid reception will continue in the full reviews, which we won’t see until next week. Wonka is due in cinemas on December 8 in the UK, December 15 in the US.