Madeline ★★ 1998 (PG)
Adaptation of Ludwig Bemelmans' classic 1939 children's book about the trouble-finding or phan Madeline (Jones), her schoolmates, and their patient teacher Miss Clavel (McDormand). As the credits open, Be melmans' familiar paintings are animated. After the live action starts, you'll wish that the producers had animated the entire film. Travelling through the plots of four of the six Madeline books, the acting seems a little flat, even for kids. McDormand and Hawthorne as Lord “Cucuface” Covington are unable to act to their fullest, and the child actors are mostly forgettable. If you liked the books as a kid, you may be disappointed; but it's a good way to introduce your own children to the series. 90m/C VHS, DVD . Hatty Jones, Frances McDormand, Nigel Hawthorne, Ben Daniels, Arturo Venegas, Stephane Audran, Katia Caballero; D: Daisy von Scherler Mayer; W: Marc Levin, Jennifer Flacket, Chris Weitz, Paul Weitz; C: Pierre Aim; M: Michel Legrand.