Valerie and Her Week of Wonders

Critics Consensus

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Total Count: 14


Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,316
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Movie Info

In this surreal psychological fantasy, young Valerie lives with her grandmother. She feels the first stirring of sexual awareness when a carnival parade comes to town and a man presents her with a pair of magic earrings. When her fantasy adventures begin, the line between dreams and reality is blurred.


Critic Reviews for Valerie and Her Week of Wonders

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (14)

  • There is no clearly-defined story; the film's logic is that of the subconscious, its images those of the Gothic fairytale and the psychiatrist's couch, and its overall effect is stunning.

    Jan 26, 2006 | Full Review…

    John Collis

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • A born director like Mr. Jires can be forgiven a lopsided beauty that still commands full attention.

    May 9, 2005 | Full Review…
  • If you aren't too anxious about decoding what all this means, you're likely to be entranced.

    May 22, 2004 | Full Review…
  • Moments of pure and frightening clarity, mixed with images that can't be reconciled with any kind of reality. These dreams don't offer coherence, but rather a strong, deep feeling that can take hours to shake.

    Oct 7, 2015 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Like the best fairy tales, "Valerie" is voluptuously suggestive, a bit dangerous, and perfectly legible on its own subterranean terms.

    Aug 17, 2015 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • Viewers willing to just accept Valerie's beautiful surrealism will probably feel their time was better rewarded than those who will need to have it all figured out.

    Jul 8, 2015 | Rating: 7.5/10 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Valerie and Her Week of Wonders

  • Jul 30, 2015
    This is a phantasmagorical, yet nonsensical, coming of age story about Valerie(Jaroslava Schallerova) whose fears as she grows up are represented in not only the changing world around her but also the magical changelings who populate it. Some of whom might be related to her, but on the other hand, maybe not.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 17, 2014
    The symbolism is a bit too obvious and calculated, with not much room for subtlety and being a tad sloppy towards the end, but this impressive film relies on an efficient surreal atmosphere like Alice in Wonderland in a Czech sociopolitical context.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 21, 2013
    A very unusual Czech fantasy/horror film, Valerie and Her Week of Wonders is sometimes too surreal to follow, but its gorgeous visuals and abundance of symbolism make it interesting to watch and think about. It tells the story of the sexual awakening of a young teenage girl named Valerie after she has her first period. Suddenly all the men and women in her town, including her own family, become infatuated with her and go to extreme lengths to be with her. Not only that, but a group of missionaries are coming through town, including a grotesque vampire bishop who may or may not be Valerie's father and a priest who wants to rape Valerie. It plays out like a twisted fairy tale, and a very confusing one at that, and the gothic visuals definitely add to this fairy tale vibe. Just about everything in the movie is a symbol for something else, which is likely what makes it so confusing. Symbolism ranges from a drop of blood falling on a daisy (the loss of Valerie's innocence) to a coffin lined with bright green apples (an allusion to the garden of Eden). It's sort of a cheap cop-out to say this, but the movie is probably not for everyone. Some people will be a little too creeped out by the sexualization of the thirteen year-old star and others (like me) will find too confusing and strangely edited. However, I enjoyed the visuals and deeper meaning behind the story , so if you're feeling adventurous then you could do worse than Valerie and Her Week of Wonders. Just don't expect it to be even remotely normal.
    Joey S Super Reviewer
  • Mar 01, 2013
    Well that was... interesting. I'm still not sure what to make of this movie. Valerie goes through a series of insanity from one day to the next. There are carnivals, weddings, her gradmother's death, her vampire cousin, her weird brother, and that priest/monster/devil guy. I really didn't know what to make of the end. Not bad, exactly, but it's a whirlwind of interesting crazy stuff going on.
    Aj V Super Reviewer

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