First Wonka Reactions Are In, And Timothée Chalamet’s Performance Is Getting A Lot Of Praise

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After many 2023 new movie releases from famous franchises like The Hunger Games, Saw and Transformers have explored the origins of famous characters, the trend continues this holiday season with Warner Bros’ Wonka. The family movie imagines the life of Willy Wonka before his chocolate factory was built as told in Roald Dahl’s best selling children’s novel, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. But is it worth your time? According to the first reactions to the movie, it is, especially for the sweetness Timothée Chalamet brings. 

After Wonka had the actor singing the “Oompa Loompa” song to Hugh Grant in Tokyo last week, the movie had another premiere in London on Tuesday and has screened for press to rave reactions. To start, check out what Zoë Rose Bryant’s Twitter post had to say: 

Timothée Chalamet is genuinely so good here, delivering a fresh new interpretation of Willy Wonka that still honors what’s come before, and killing it as both a comedian and a performer. Forget those trailers – this is a true movie star turn.

Bryant also called the movie “an instant holiday classic” and a “truly magical time at the movies.” Wonka is helmed by the director behind both Paddington films, so that shouldn’t be too surprising to viewers. King also wrote the screenplay alongside Simon Farnaby, who also wrote on Paddington 2. Check out this glowing review from Junior Felix on Twitter

#Wonka  is hands down one of my favorite films of the year. Yes, I said that. It’s magical and full of whimsy. Paul King beautifully guides this film to a world I wasn’t expecting to go.
@RealChalamet shines and makes Willy Wonka his own. And Hugh Grant steals the film.

The That Hashtag Show editor-in-chief also praised Timothée Chalamet, but it wasn’t solely the actor’s performance that got him hyped about the movie. He also found the movie to be one of the best of 2023 and shared that Hugh Grant’s Oompa Loompa casting was a major standout as well. Check out this Twitter reaction:  

#Wonka took me by surprise with how much I liked it. It’s whimsical and taps into that sense of wonder we got from the original while doing its own thing. Timothée Chalamet channels the energy of Gene without doing an impression. Great family film for the holidays.

Chalamet of course follows the iconic performances of Gene Wilder in the 1971 Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory movie and Johnny Depp’s version of the character in Tim Burton’s 2005 adaptation. It sounds like Chamalet is leaning more toward the classic version, but found a way to make the character his own. While the first thoughts out of Wonka were heavily positive, not everyone was impressed with it. As EJ Moreno wrote on Twitter

#Wonka quickly transcends from a bland musical to a Cats-level hot mess. Charming would be the word for it if it didn’t hit grating far too often. Timothée Chalamet is doing the lord’s work by being the only one who understands the assignment.

Wonka has already been lightly compared to Muppets Christmas Carol, but comparing Wonka to Cats is rather concerning! That movie was infamously hated by critics and audiences alike and held a 19% on Rotten Tomatoes. Even though Moreno didn’t love the movie, he still had good things to say about Timothée Chalamet’s performance, which speaks to the actor’s talents in the film. Here’s another positive one about the lead of the Wonka cast from Griffin Schiller on Twitter

Chalamet is MAGNETIC. A hopeless, lovable, whimsically wide-eyed optimist. A gifted physical performer who’s allowed to be free. Oh, & he’s FUNNY! Not once was I thinking of Wilder & yet the spiritual connection is present. No egregious nostalgia here. Just a good time! #Wonka

Could Wonka become this holiday’s big hit? Time will tell. Here’s one more reaction from Collider’s Perri Nemiroff on Twitter:  

#Wonka is a super charming delight powered by an exceptional & pitch-perfect performance from Timothée Chalamet. It can get quite silly and there’s a few plot points that are a tad on the thin side, but that couldn’t stop such an impossibly sweet film with a hefty & very effective dose of sincerity from warming my heart.

Sounds like Timothée Chalamet may have found his next great role! You can decide for yourself once Wonka comes to theaters on December 15. 

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