kharin and I went to see The Golden Compass this afternoon. Reviews of the film have not been unequivocally positive, but I haven't read any of the Philip Pullman books, and I hoped the lack of foreknowledge would improve my enjoyment of the film. And I did enjoy it. Not necessarily for the story, which didn't strike me as particularly subversive (though maybe that's watered down from the book). I suppose I did mainly enjoy it for the visuals - the myriad alternative vistas of Oxford in particular (including some shots inside Queen's - gosh, we must really need the money); and the luvvie overload (Derek Jacobi, Christopher Lee, Jim Carter, Jack Shepherd, Ian McKellen ... the list goes on). It's a standard story of good versus evil, of the danger of sinister and absolute authority, of treasures from some bygone age.