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London: Mad as a Hatter for “Alice”

March 27, 2010

The Queen had only one way of settling all difficulties, great or small. "Off with his head!" she said, without even looking round.

London’s gone mad for all things Alice, following the release of Tim Burton’s freaky new film version of the Lewis Carroll classic. [You can watch a trailer here.] The much hyped Disney flick stars Johnny Depp as, of course, the Hatter, and Burton’s wife, Helena Bonham Carter, above — in costume, in case you wondered — as the Queen of Hearts.

In mercantile celebration of the event, Londoners can now linger before Alice-inspired windows at Harrods, and, in a product-placement trifecta, visit the Selfridges Wonder Room, temporarily renamed the “Alice in Wonder Room” and  touted by Vogue with a bauble-by-bauble numbered guide to acquiring all things Alice.

The Goth-inclined Bonham Carter, aptly cast as Bellatrix Lestrange in the Harry Potter films, has come a far way from her ingenue turns in Howard’s End and, before that, A Room With a View. The granddaughter of Prime Minister Asquith and his wife, Violet, a Winston Churchill confidante, she concentrated on acting full-time after Cambridge admissions rejected her.

Bonham Carter: It Girl (or Cousin It?)

Burton first directed her in the role of an ape, in his Planet remake. (“I can never rely on Tim to make me pretty,” she admitted in a Guardian interview.) They married in 2008, after just a six-year engagement and the births of two children. Today, she happily households solo in Hampstead with the kids while he lives next door. (Having finally moved out of her parents’ home in nearby Golders Green at age 30, she explained to the Guardian, she needed her own place.) A third adjacent home serves as playspace for the children and their nanny.

Burton settled early in his stylistic track, or rut, as some might have it, making a splash with the creepy Beetlejuice back in 1988. Now, they are peas in a pod — or Bohos in a bucket, if you like, and actually kind of cute in their poshly flaky way.

For old-fashioned types who prefers to celebrate Alice’s Hollywood emergence with print and paper, there’s yet another way into the Alice buying frenzy: Harrods is hawking a new edition of Carroll’s book, “beautifully bound in red leather,” for only £100. I’m sure the original, pictured below, cost a bit less. Happy reading.

Dodgson's original, created for little Alice Liddell.

UPDATED: Oops, posted this about 9 hours ago with photos ripped off (lifted!) from gossip sites. Got my wrist slapped — if you stopped by earlier today, you’d have seen “stolen” logos in the pictures’ place. It’s actually pretty cool that the sites can do that, and not just because it scares straight would-be scofflaws like me. In fact, it serves me right: In an earlier post, I got all high-horsey and made a big deal about how I was above all that. Then I got lazy — mea culpa.

Thank God for Flickr Creative Commons and its contributors, for enabling me to say this:

No copyrights were harmed in the making of this blog post.

Red Queen photo courtesy of CentralAsian on Flickr.
Bonham Carter photo courtesy of Made in Hollywood on Flickr.
Alice cover in public domain, from Wikimedia Commons.
3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 30, 2010 1:56 am

    Great post ! And your updated oops is priceless. Anyone upset over your “lifting” should be committed, and I don’t mean in the positive sense. Flicker Creative Commons is vindication, and the bickerers are once again relegated to eating Dunkin munchkins instead of full fledged donuts.

  2. April 30, 2010 2:23 am

    Of course, as a writer and sometime photo snapper (not fishy), I respect copyrights, as you do too with your swift rectifying action. You go girl !


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