AFTER THE WIZARD tells the tale of a modern-day Dorothy -- a girl confined to an orphanage where the folk in charge imagine that she's either looney or gifted with way too much imagination -- who is desperately needed back in Oz. Or so say the Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow, the later two of whom travel to our world to bring Dorothy back to theirs.
Hugh Gross (at left), the movie does almost nothing you expect it to, starting with taking us to Oz. Our trip there is brief and bare (for budget reasons, no doubt). We see a pack of those flying monkeys -- they've taken over, we're told -- and spend a few moments with the Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow, after which Tin and Straw take off to find Dorothy in the land of us. Mr. Gross clearly loves and appreciates the Oz tales of L. Frank Baum, but I suspect he has bigger fish to fry.
Peter Mark Richman, below) may put you in mind of a reincarnated Frank Baum, combined with Mark Twain and maybe Mahatma Gandhi. (I'd like to watch this scene again, paying more attention to the very interesting dialog.)
Helen Richman, at left below) and her replacement.
Orien Richman, above, left) and Scarecrow (Jermel Nakia, above, right) are fine, as are many of the small, one-off actors who have a single scene and give it their all. But it takes awhile to warm up to Jordan Van Vranken (below) as the Dorothy (or Elizabeth, as she is called in the orphanage) character. Ms Van Vranken seem to find her footing as an actress but slowly as she goes along. By the end, however, we're in her corner.