The Camera Work In Danny Devito’s Matilda Came Directly From The Films Of Tim Burton

Child genius Matilda (Mara Wilson) has the misfortune to be the daughter of used car salesman Harry Wormwood (Danny DeVito) and his wife Zinnia (Rhea Perlman), an ignorant and materialistic couple with a gaudy fashion sense who neglects her while doting on their oafish son Michael (Brian Levinson). From an early age, Matilda has a prodigious appetite for reading, swiftly graduating from children’s books to classic novels at her nearest public library. She wants to go to school but they refuse to enroll her, provoking her to play some pranks on her dad to punish him.

After Harry sells a car to Miss Agatha Trunchbull¬†(Pam Ferris), the child-hating principal of Crunchem Hall Elementary, he decides she’s the kind of educator Matilda needs and finally decides to send her to school. Matilda is eager to learn and can’t wait, even though she soon finds that Trunchbull has a very particular way of disciplining kids. Luckily, her class teacher is kindly Miss Honey (Embeth Davidtz) who recognizes Matilda’s extraordinary potential. Unfortunately, neither the Principal nor Matilda’s parents are interested in helping her develop further.

When Miss Trunchbull finds out that the car Harry sold her is faulty, she takes her anger out on Matilda. First, she locks her in “The Chokey,”¬†a dark cupboard studded with huge nails, then blames her for putting a newt in her drinking water. Infuriated by the false accusation, Matilda discovers she has telekinetic powers. She hones her newfound gifts and uses them to teach Miss Trunchbull, and her parents, a lesson.

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