Sam Morrison’s review published on Letterboxd:
Caught this on TV and knew I had to write about it.
This version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory will forever be dear to me, as my first exposure to Gene Wilder and the way it feels like a time capsule. No matter how old I get, it completely tricks my mind into believing I'm a kid once more.
I hate overusing the word magic, but that's exactly the overwhelming eminence that pours from every frame of this film. Numerous times, probably too often, I've recalled that musicals don't fit like a glove in my tastes. Typically it's one or two songs that I enjoy and that's the extent of it, but in Willy, every single song puts a smile on my face. Every dang one. How?
This movie has such a mixture of golden traits that only improve upon every viewing and every minute that passes. It's another feature that doesn't have a useless character in its bunch. Maybe you could argue the additional grandparents don't have much to offer, but they still are a huge part of the prop that is the quadruple resident bed, absolutely hilarious. Everything fits here.
In fact, it's one of the only musicals off the top of my head that has a little something special for everyone, done with sublime perfection. But the greatest of all is its ability to make the audience smile with tremendous glee. It's a story of rotten, poorly behaved kids and their shallow parents getting their comeuppance, and that alone makes me happier than I could ask.
Even with that, it continues by showing that the family with few possessions who values togetherness more than anything gets to win in the end. Nice guys may not finish last after all. "So shines a good deed in a weary world."
To end things, let's all remember that going forward into this new year. Happy New Year's to all my best friends here, and to all their loved ones. Let's hope it's better than 2020.