Philip Pullman has explained why he thinks the film adaptation of his book The Golden Compass didn’t receive a stronger critical reception.
- Read more: First look: ‘His Dark Materials’ is a magnificent retelling of Philip Pullman’s fantasy epic
The author stated that, while he didn’t want to be “too critical” of the 2007 film, he felt the cast “did the best that could be done with the time they had, which simply wasn’t enough”. On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 42%, with an average score of 5.61/10.
The critical consensus reads: “Without the bite or the controversy of the source material, The Golden Compass is reduced to impressive visuals overcompensating for lax storytelling.” See Pullman’s tweet in full below.
Delighted as I am with the TV adaptation of HDM, I don't want to be too critical of The GC movie. A magnificent cast, among whom Dakota Blue Richards shone like the polar star, did the best that could be done with the time they had, which simply wasn't enough.
— Philip Pullman (@PhilipPullman) November 10, 2019
In response to the tweet, many fans came forward to defend the film, arguing that the adaptation starring Daniel Craig didn’t receive the appreciation it deserved.
I'm one of the (seemingly) few people who actually actively LOVED the movie. Yes, it was flawed. Yes, it was overstuffed. Yes, it lacked some grit.
But it was also sumptuous, transporting and full of some great performances..!
— Chintan Nanavati (@LightHealing) November 10, 2019
Plenty to love about the movie – Beautiful daemons, inspired casting and design of the Gyptians, Elliot’s Scoresby. Felt magical if not wholly faithful
— Hugo Smith (@hugo_smith__) November 10, 2019
I completely agree, the cast was magnificent, the special effects were out of this world, the atmosphere was just like the one from the book, I loved it so much and it will always have a special place in my heart! We know what @chrisweitz wanted to make and his vision was perfect
— Gaetano Setticasi (@SetticasGaetano) November 10, 2019
Meanwhile the TV adaptation of His Dark Materials, which started on BBC1 on November 3 and continues tonight (November 10), has been praised for succeeding where the film lacked. The series has been in the works since 2015 and involves This is England writer Jack Thorne. A second series has already been planned.
In a recent preview of the show, NME said: “Writer Jack Thorne and producer Jane Tranter have been careful not to rush the finer details – and there’s a quality to the production that’s rare on TV.
“His Dark Materials will please a lot of people, sure, but it’s more interested in doing justice to its fabulous source material. An approach that’s served it well, so far.”