Last week, I was invited to a really fun event: a screening of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children + Tim Burton’s Handprint Ceremony! I was really excited to see the film after seeing the fantastic trailer, especially since I am excessively fond of Eva Green. I haven’t read the books yet, but I can’t imagine anyone more perfect to play Miss Peregrine.
Even though I worked in movie publicity for a long time, I’d never been to a handprint ceremony before, so I was also interested to see what that would be like. (I always think of that old I Love Lucy episode with John Wayne, heh.) Mr. Darling and I got there early and were put into a press pen while we waited for everything to begin. There were a ton of journalists there, as well as a pretty big crowd of tourists. That’s typical for Hollywood and Highland, but you could tell everyone was buzzy over the promise of seeing Tim Burton in person.
As generally happens at these things, the book people found each other! I met Mary from Book Hounds almost immediately, who was as nice as could be. I was also charmed that there were kids in attendance, whom I initially assumed were there with their blogger parents, but as it turned out, at least one of them has a following on social media herself! I pointed out when Ransom Riggs and Tahereh Mafi arrived to this first little girl, and she was just beside herself with excitement.
She had been clutching a copy of Tales of the Peculiar the whole time we were waiting, and one of the ladies from 20th Century Fox was kind enough to get it signed for her. Her mom told me that she sees celebrities all the time but couldn’t care less, but she just loves Ransom Riggs.
Isn’t Ransom’s purple jacket snazzy, by the way? Also, Tahereh’s whole outfit (per usual) and Winona’s shoes.
Then the ceremony began. Winona Ryder, who has been in many of Tim Burton’s films, came out to introduce him. She gave a lovely speech talking about why she has returned to work with him again and again, paying tribute to the way he sees the world. “He knows the pain of the misunderstood, of the odd, and even of the mad. He celebrates them in a way that is both totally unique, so very, very tender, sometimes terrifying, and very often hilarious.” I couldn’t help thinking of how perfect Tim Burton is to direct the movie version of this book, too.
Tim came out and was funny and self-deprecating and gracious. After giving a short speech, he said, “Now I’m supposed to put my face in concrete, right?” which made everyone laugh.
Afterwards, we had the chance to take close-up photos of the concrete and do selfies on the red carpet if we wanted to. (I didn’t want to, hah. You guys know that’s not my thing!) I was really glad the kids got to meet Ransom–a couple of them were shy about it, but Mary and I told them to just go for it. Martin Landau and a few other actors were there as well, though the kids really only had eyes for Ransom. It was pretty cute.
Then we all headed inside for the screening. We picked up popcorn and drinks and our 3D glasses from the concession stand, and I took video of the amazing revolving Miss Peregrine’s House cake, which was made out of gingerbread and lit up! There was another photo op with a Miss Peregrine wall as well.
Tim Burton and Ransom Riggs both spoke before the movie began. Ransom expressed how having his book optioned by Tim Burton seemed unreal, and that he kept telling himself throughout the process that he would believe it when he actually sat down in a theater with popcorn and saw it with friends. And….here it was! It was a pretty special moment.
As for the movie itself, I wasn’t sure what to expect going in, but both Mr. Darling and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Definitely see it if you’re a fan of the books (Mary told me they only changed a few things) or liked the look of the trailer! It’s one I’d definitely see again…and now I’m interested in checking out the books, too.
Have you read the books, or are you planning on seeing the movie?
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will be in theaters Friday, September 30th, 2016.
From visionary director Tim Burton, and based upon the best-selling novel, comes an unforgettable motion picture experience. When Jake discovers clues to a mystery that spans alternate realities and times, he uncovers a secret refuge known as Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As he learns about the residents and their unusual abilities, Jake realizes that safety is an illusion, and danger lurks in the form of powerful, hidden enemies. Jake must figure out who is real, who can be trusted, and who he really is.
Photographs were taken by me or provided by the studio. Many thanks to 20th Century Fox for inviting me to attend!
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