Witch backstory: New 'Oz' offers twist on an old classic

By Richard Roeper

You can be a good witch or a bad witch or even a little of both, but a bland witch?

Then we'll have to talk.

Some of the surprises in Oz the Great and Powerful, the much-anticipated Wizard of Oz origins movie, are delightful. Others, however, sink the movie just below the point of recommendation, with the primary drawback falling on the lovely shoulders of Michelle Williams and Mila Kunis, as early versions of Glinda the Good Witch and the Wicked Witch of the West, respectively.


Williams is already established as one of the better actresses of the last decade. Kunis is a star on the rise. What a disappointment, then, to see Williams so bland and sugary as Glinda, and Kunis so flat and ineffectual as the heartsick Theodora, who is transformed into the broom-riding, theatrically cackling, very Wicked Witch of the West.

Margaret Hamilton's Wicked Witch in the original Oz was the stuff of nightmares for generations. Mila's Wicked Witch would get her first place for makeup at a Hollywood Halloween party, while her performance is closer to a Razzie than an Oscar.

Only Rachel Weisz acquits herself well in a witchly role, playing Evanora, the scheming older sister of Theodora. (I believe Evanora's the one that will eventually find herself on the wrong end of a house in The Wizard of Oz.) Read full review here...