Based on Alice Hoffman’s 1995 novel of the same name, Practical Magic is an American romance fantasy film that was released in 1998. Griffin Dunne directed the film, including Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman, Stockard Channing, Dianne Wiest. In her role as sister Sally Owens, Kidman and Bullock play sisters Gillian and Sally, who have known that they are women of magic. In a household where brownies for breakfast and magic tricks were taught, their aunts looked after the sisters following their parent’s death.
It’s a curse to be a member of the Owens family: Each man they fall in love with will die before their time. The two women, who have very different personalities, now have to use all of their powers to eradicate the supernatural forces that could end the lives of the Owens. Cult classics like this film are rare.
What Exactly Happens in the Film?
In order to banish Gary once he starts to doubt Sally, Gillian, Kylie, and Antonia summon a magic drink; nonetheless, they discover he is the man explained in Sally’s true love spell and remove the poison. Sally casts a true love spell to protect her from Gillian falling in love after watching their aunts cast a spell on a man during a tragic incident where the woman seems obsessed with having the man’s love.
Gillian’s spirit is possessed by Jimmy, and Gary witnesses Jimmy’s spirit emerging. Gary leaves for Tucson after clearing the sisters of involvement in Jimmy’s case, and he makes a decision to go back to Boston to be with Sally. In the meantime, Sally realizes that the aunts cast a spell to allow her to fall in love, so she returns to the Owens home to live with the aunts.
As soon as Frances and Jet return, Jimmy again takes over Gillian and tries to kill her. Gillian wants Sally to return to Massachusetts, so she drugged Jimmy to get him there. When Jimmy is resurrected, the sisters use a forbidden spell from their aunt’s book of spells to revive him, but he then attempts to kill Gillian. Jimmy Angelov, the boyfriend of Gillian Mills in Orlando, dies just weeks after his death.
In the future, Sally has Gary record her testimony, seeing the letter she had written to Gillian and recognizing he must have heard it more times than he had acknowledged. The book tells the story of Gillian and Sally Owens, two progeny of the Owens menage, who stay along with their aunts Frances and Jet posterior the death of their parents. Jimmy abused Gillian in a motel, so she calls Sally from there.
Final Thoughts on the Film
There is more duality to Practical Magic than its narrative. The theme is woven throughout the movie. Robin Standefer created the design of Practical Magic’s visual language. There is no doubt that the house is the most prominent feature of the film’s look: It stands tall, white, and Victorian high above the ocean and covered in greenery. You could tell it is a cold house inside with its large, tiled hearth and old black wood, especially in the winter. This makes cable-knit sweaters even more intriguing.
As the middle-aged aunts of the Owens clan, Frances and Jet are perfectly suited for embodying their turn-of-the-century dresses and wide-brimmed hats as the old-fashioned Owens aunts. In this setting, audiences will also be able to savor Bullock and Kidman’s portrayals of Sally and Gillian.
In this fashion show, they wear trend-setting ’90s dresses and skirts with rich patterns that make you understand on a deeper level what those looks were meant to be. Despite the film being disliked by critics back then, it has since become a favorite among viewers.