Penelope | Chicago Reader

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More tart than sweet, this contemporary fairy tale provides a worthy vehicle for the fearless Christina Ricci. She plays a wealthy maiden who can be freed from a centuries-old family curse only by marrying a blueblood; her literally porcine face repels all suitors until a tabloid reporter (Peter Dinklage) hires a down-and-out aristocrat (James McAvoy, appealingly raffish) to woo her. Updating “Beauty and the Beast,” screenwriter Leslie Caveny skewers the media's fascination with the rich, famous, and freakish while delivering a moral about facing one's demons. Mark Palansky directed; with Catherine O?Hara, Richard E. Grant, and Reese Witherspoon. PG, 90 min.

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