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Sleepy Hollow

Director:Tim Burton
Writer:Andrew Kevin Walker
Paramount Pictures; R; 110 minutes
Cast:Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Michael Gambon

Viewing Sleepy Hollow, one almost wishes the conventions of plot weren't there: the first half-hour is beautifully filmed, with a gritty ethereal spookiness that almost makes the movie worth seeing. But by the end, Washington Irving's short story has been played out and the visual coherency loses its head to a facile plot. Boy meets girl, villagers lose heads, boy loses girl due to misplaced accusations of witchcraft, boy discovers the true controlling force behind the murdering headless Hessian spirit, boy gets girl back. Casting is splendid, and the aura of Sleepy Hollow is amazing. Too bad it descends into fights, chases, and plot development.

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