Review: `Magorium’ Forces the Magic

January 5, 2008 at 10:58 am Leave a comment

Dustin Hoffman, left, and Natalie Portman

Dustin Hoffman, left, and Natalie Portman

You’d have to be a really little kid we’re talking young enough to be enthralled by colorful, shiny objects and oblivious to the necessity of character development to want to hang out at “Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium.”

With wild hair and an annoying accent, Dustin Hoffman looks completely uncomfortable as the titular impresario, a childlike eccentric who doesn’t just sell toys but whose store is a living being with feelings.

Now, at age 243, he decides it’s time to leave (read: die, inexplicably) and hand the keys over to store manager Molly Mahoney (Natalie Portman in full-on pixie mode), a former piano prodigy who’s stuck creatively. (Ah, the irony she works at a place that encourages creativity!) Only Mahoney doesn’t feel ready for the challenge, and the store throws a temper tantrum to keep Magorium from going.

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