Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

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Product Overview

A traveling theater company gives its audience much more than they were expecting.Blessed with the extraordinary gift of guiding the imaginations of others, Doctor Parnassus (Christopher Plummer) is cursed with a dark secret. An inveterate gambler, thousands of years ago he made a bet with the devil, Mr. Nick (Tom Waits), in which he won immortality. Centuries later, on meeting his one true love, Dr. Parnassus made another deal with the devil, trading his immortality for youth, on condition that when his daughter reached her 16th birthday, she would become the property of Mr Nick. Valentina (Lily Cole) is now rapidly approaching this ‘coming of age’ milestone and Dr. Parnassus is desperate to protect her from her impending fate. Mr. Nick arrives to collect but, always keen to make a bet, renegotiates the wager. Now the winner of Valentina will be determined by whoever seduces the first five souls. Enlisting a series of wild, comical and compelling characters in his journey, Dr. Parnassus promises his daughter’s hand in marriage to the man that helps him win. In this captivating, explosive and wonderfully imaginative race against time, Dr. Parnassus must fight to save his daughter in a never-ending landscape of surreal obstacles – and undo the mistakes of his past once and for all! Also starring Heath Ledger, Andrew Garfield, Verne Troyer, Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell and Jude Law.


Studio Sony
SKU 214514959
UPC 043396343627
UPC 14 00043396343627
Format DVD
Release Date 3/20/2012
Rating Rating
Theatrical Release
Editors Note
Note In THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS, director Terry Gilliam continues the trippy tradition he began with inventive films such as TIME BANDITS and BRAZIL. This time, he reteams with Heath Ledger of THE BROTHERS GRIMM, Christopher Plummer of 12 MONKEYS, and Tom Waits of THE FISHER KING.
Hollywood Reporter "Plummer and Waits are the twin rocks of the film, and they enter the spirit of playfulness with typical skill. Garfield continues to expand his considerable range..." 05/23/2009
Box Office 4 stars out of 5 -- "THE IMAGINARIUM OF DR. PARNASSUS is Terry Gilliam's masterpiece. His virtuosic pairing of spectacle and nuanced crafts a morality tale that resonates with boundless allusions." 09/10/2009
Total Film 3 stars out of 5 -- "PARNASSUS is pure Gilliam, whisking dashes of BRAZIL, MUNCHAUSEN, THE FISHER KING and added autobiographical reflections into unruly but fitfully visionary fantasy terrain." 09/21/2009
Los Angeles Times "You'd expect no less from Terry Gilliam...IMAGINARIUM is one of his most original and accessible works....He applies his fantastic and fantastical imagination to a visually dazzling tale of combat for men's souls." 12/25/2009
USA Today 3 stars out of 4 -- "Gilliam nimbly juxtaposes modern-day England, complete with drab shopping malls, and a mesmerizing fantasy world....An inspired adventure." 12/25/2009
New York Times "Much like musical numbers, the fantasy sequences elbow into the narrative, with bursts of candied color and the kind of whimsical touches that will be familiar to fans of Mr. Gilliam's work..." 12/25/2009
A.V. Club "[W]ith a smart concept, gorgeous cinematography, some terrific performances and tons of energy..." -- Grade: B 12/23/2009
Entertainment Weekly "[The actors] dust the director's characteristically squirrelly, dense, and visually overloaded project with the sparkle of celebrity....Individual scenes are dazzling..." -- Grade: B- 01/08/2010
Chicago Sun-Times 3 stars out of 4 -- "[T]his is an IMAGINARIUM indeed. The best approach is to sit there and let it happen to you; see it in the moment..." 01/06/2010
Rolling Stone 3 stars out of 4 -- "[T]he magic works. It's a chance to see Ledger one last time in the act of doing what he loved." 01/21/2010
Washington Post "Shot through with a bold, extravagant generosity of spirit, this journey behind the literal and figurative looking glass marks a gratifying return to form for Gilliam..." 01/08/2010
Movieline "[T]he combination of Gilliam's reliably stunning visuals and complex, involving performance help him build unlikely narrative momentum..." 12/28/2009
Uncut 3 stars out of 5 -- "[Ledger] immerses himself enthusiastically into the low-budget spirit of Gilliam's film." 10/09/2009
Empire 4 stars out of 5 -- "[I]t's rather nice to see Gilliam in full flight, making the sort of twisted fairy tale that only he could tell." 05/01/2010
Terry Gilliam
Christopher Plummer
Heath Ledger
Cast & Crew
Tom Waits - Star
Christopher Plummer - Star
Colin Farrell - Star
Lily Cole - Star
Verne Troyer - Star
Jude Law - Star
Heath Ledger - Star
Andrew Garfield - Star
Johnny Depp - Star
Terry Gilliam - Screenwriter
Charles McKeown - Screenwriter
Terry Gilliam - Director
Technical Info
Original Release Date 2009
UPC 00043396343627
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 123 minutes
Color Color
Aspect Ratio
Anamorphic Widescreen  1.85:1
Oscar (2010) David Warren et, al., Nominee, Best Achievement in Art Direction,Monique Prudhomme, Nominee, Best Achievement in Costume Design
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review The motto of Second City is "Something Wonderful Right Away," and maybe Terry Gilliam has the words displayed on his mirror when he shaves every morning. He has never faltered. The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus could be seen as a sideshow version of his own life, with him playing the role of the pitchman who lures you into his fantasies. That they may seem extravagant and overheated, all smoke and mirrors, is, after all, in their very nature...The story in Gilliam's fevered film is all over the map, as usual, but this time there's a reason. His wild inventions in character, costumes and CGI effects are accounted for by a plot that requires revolving worlds. Elements of this plot were made necessary by the death of Heath Ledger halfway into the filming, but the plot itself I think was in place from the first...It involves a bizarre, threadbare traveling show that unfolds out of a rickety old wagon in rundown pockets of London occupied mostly by drunks and grotesques. The show consists of the (very, very) old Parnassus (Christopher Plummer) perching ominously on a stool while his barker, Anton (Andrew Garfield); his daughter, Valentina (Lily Cole), and his angry dwarf, Percy (Verne Troyer), perform for an unruly handful of lager louts...Percy and Anton save the life of a man hanging from a bridge. Why only they can perform this task is wisely not explained. The man on the rope is Tony (Heath Ledger). I know. He joins the show, is appalled by its archaic form and suggests updates. The reason it's creaky is that Parnassus is many centuries old, having made a pact with Satan (Tom Waits, as usual) to live forever on condition that Satan can possess Valentina (Lily Cole) when she turns 16. You have to admit Parnassus didn't rush into reproduction. Of course he wants out of the deal. Satan frequently runs into credit payment risks...Now what I see are a group of experienced actors gamely trying to keep their heads while all about are losing theirs. Can it be easy to play one-third of a guide to one-third of an arbitrary world? You just have to plunge in. Ledger himself, who makes Tony relatively grounded in the "real" world, must have been prepared to do the same and would have lent the story more continuity. Still, this is an Imaginarium indeed. The best approach is to sit there and let it happen to you; see it in the moment and not with long-term memory, which seems to be what Parnassus does. It keeps his mind off Satan's plans for his daughter.
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 7
DVD, Widescreen, Aspect Ratio 1.85:1, Dolby Digital (5.1), English, Subtitled, No Longer Produced
Product Attributes
Video Format DVD
Ann Hornaday, Washington Post Shot through with a bold, extravagant generosity of spirit, this journey behind the literal and figurative looking glass marks a gratifying return to form for Gilliam.
Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic ..."Parnassus" is a richly rewarding experience.

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