Timothée Chalamet in Wonka (2023)

Hazel and Katniss and Harry and Starr Podcast: Wonka

The logo for Hazel & Katniss & Harry & Starr podcast: an orange box with the words written in white fontHazel & Katniss & Harry & Starr is a weekly Canadian podcast about young adult literature, their film and television adaptations, and everything in between. Now in its sixth season, the podcast—hosted by film critic Joe Lipsett and English professor Brenna Clarke-Gray—aims to highlight the cultural worth of young adult and middle-grade texts, with a focus on Canadian, Indigenous and minority creatives and stories.

Join us weekly for deep dives, as well as a round of YA BINGO.

Book 6, Chapter 21: Wonka

You’ve never had a Wonka movie like this before! Well…unless you’ve seen writer/director Paul King’s Paddington films, which have a lot of shared DNA, including a silly role for Hugh Grant (delightfully slumming it).

We’re not surprised at the incredible success of the film, which is anchored by Timothée Chalamet and a deep bench of character actors. And though the film doesn’t quite hang together and features some odd choices (fat suits?!), this secret musical is still a crowd-pleaser.

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Read on for more about this week’s episode from co-host Joe Lipsett:

Considering that we dropped a new episode on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory back in December, it was inevitable we would cover Wonka (read That Shelf‘s review).

It turns out that Wonka isn’t exactly the prequel story that Brenna and I anticipated. It’s both something more successful (a musical!) and something inferior (this doesn’t link up to Depp or Wilder’s film). Still, it’s hard to be mad at a zany heist movie that brings in so many beloved character actors, feature Olivia Colman chomping around, and has such a gooey center. -JL

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