A mysterious and surreal tale that celebrates peculiarity and the power of friendship, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children hits theaters on September 30. The film, directed by the illustrious Tim Burton and based on the best selling novel by Ransom Riggs, left me enchanted and wanting more of this incredible story. It was a vivid portrayal of good vs. evil and how finding your true self is just as important as making and creating lifelong friends.
When Jake discovers clues to a mystery that spans alternate realities and times, he uncovers a secret refuge known as Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As he learns about the residents and their unusual abilities, Jake realizes that safety is an illusion, and danger lurks in the form of powerful, hidden enemies. Jake must figure out who is real, who can be trusted, and who he really is.
This week, I had the unique opportunity to participate in a few roundtables with Ransom Riggs, the bestselling author of Miss Peregine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Colleen Atwood, the costume designer for the film and several stars of the film.
I enjoyed hearing what Ransom Riggs had to say on what seeing his book created into a film by Tim Burton.
Well, it helps when the person changing it is a director you’ve looked up to for 25 years. So, you know, if it had been anyone else, I might have been more nervous. But, I think also, I went to grad film school and I’m a total film nerd, and I’ve written screenplays that no one is going to buy or anything like that.But I’ve dabbled enough to–I think to have a good perspective on how much work needs to be done and adaptation to make it a genuinely satisfying cinema experience that stands alone as a movie. So, I totally respect that. And, yes, I don’t watch the movie and go what about this? What about that? I just try and remove myself as the author and say, “Am I enjoying this as a movie?” And, yes, absolutely, I think it works so well.
Because the film was set in modern day and then went back in a time warp, the costumes helped depict the story in such an eloquent way. Colleen Atwood had a unique task to create timeless and elegant costumes for this unique cast.
On her inspiration behind Miss Peregine’s beautiful look for the film:
Well, the main thing that, that Eva Green [Miss Peregrine] and I talked about was having the costume sort of have some kind of quality that was birdlike without saying I’m a bird. So she has such an amazing shape. I mean she has an amazing physique so she lends herself to that sort of slim kind of goth middle and the kind of pointy shoulder. She was a little bit pointy as a character. So, we kind of did those instead of doing a puff sleeve we did the points on her sleeves. I didn’t really want to put her in a black costume. I really badly wanted it to not be black, and, and I found this amazing piece of navy blue, navy blue wool crepe which is what I ended up making the costume on. And, then I sponged into it a little bit with a little bit of green and some other colors, like how feathers reflect different colors. So, you really probably don’t see it in the film in the sense. It only just keeps it from being a really flat surface to photograph. It makes it more interesting photographically, and inside her shoulders there is a little inset. There’s a box pleat. There’s a feather that’s embroidered in a metallic and silk thread that sort of–I like how animals in nature sometimes they have a little piece of color or something that’s sort of bright that their own species catch but other people don’t catch, and then sort of that was my inspiration for that in her costume. And, I wanted to make her long – her things are all pointed kind of like feathers, and her jacket goes down in a little V in the back that, that kind of helps sell bird a little bit without being too aggressively birdlike.
We also had the chance to talk to several of the actors from the film. Varying in age and experience, these young actors were all so well spoken and so some thoughtful things to say about their work on the film. We interviewed Asa Butterfield (Jake), Ella Purnell (Emma), Lauren McCrostie (Olive) and Finlay MacMillan (Enoch).
On their key takeaway from being in the film, Asa Butterfield said:
You make a lot of good friends in a film, with every film you do, because you’re working so closely with people for a long amount of time. You get close, and you’ve made these friends, and you probably, hopefully, going to know for the rest of your life.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children in in theaters September 30. Be sure to catch this amazing film!
Starring: Eva Green, Asa Butterfield, Chris O’Dowd, Ella Purnell, Allison Janney, Rupert Everett, Terence Stamp, with Judi Dench and Samuel L. Jackson
Directed By: Tim Burton
Full disclosure: I was invited by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation to participate in this roundtable. As always, all opinions on NKT are my own.