KIDS FIRST! Endorsed Nim's Island In Theaters April 4
Category: Nim's Island Reviews | Posted by: stagewomanjen
Article Date: March 5, 2008 | Publication: kidsfirst.org | Author: RANNY LEVY
Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine)and her adventures in the tropics as a precocious yet self-sufficient 11-year-old, will have every kid wanting a zip line installed in the backyard. Nim and her Dad (Gerard Butler), a famous scientist live an idyllic life on a secluded island somewhere in the South Pacific that they refer to as "our own perfect secret world." Clearly, that's the way they want to keep it. Nim's best friends are a lizard and a sea lion named Selkie. She pours over books about her favorite literary hero/adventurer - Alex Rover.
The scene shifts when Nim utters the words, "when my Dad gets back" as he takes off for a four day trip on his sailboat in search of protozoan. A terrific storm blows in unexpectedly and when her father doesn't return, Nim's life goes topsy turvy as she ponders her fate and that of her missing Dad. She reaches out to her hero for help, unaware that the author of her favorite adventures books is Alexandra Rover (Jodi Foster). While her fans think she's the swashbuckling hero of her adventure novels, the truth is Alexandra is a wuss with a crippling fear of leaving her own house - if even to go to the mailbox. All that changes with an email exchange with Nim and her fictional character, Alex Rover eggs her on and go to Nim's rescue. She somehow rises to the challenge but not easily.
What I enjoyed about this film is how the action/adventure/fantasy/Indiana Jones theme has a girl hero. One of the current favorite TV shows for our KIDS FIRST! jurors is Flight 29 Down. I believe the same audience will love this.
Directed by Mark Levin and Jennifer Flackett who also brought us "Little Manhattan," it brings out the best of young actress, Abigail Breslin. Miss Breslin's portrayal of Nim is charming, captivating and fun. Jodi Foster's performance captures her comedic qualities but doesn't have the same stickiness as her co-star. Gerard Butler's (P.S. I Love You) performance as both Dad and Alex Rover demands little of the actor beyond his eminent good looks.
This is a great film for tweens who will resonate with an adventure of their peers. There are two issues that make me not give this the highest scores for KIDS FIRST! First, are the scenes of Dad and Alexandria in the ocean without life vests. In real life, neither of these characters would have survived their ordeals in the turbulent seas without life vests and it's inappropriate to even suggest that they would not be wearing them at the first hint of bad weather. The other objection is inappropriate treatment of animals. When Nim is protecting her island from an onslaught of dim-witted tourists, she catapults reptiles onto the beach. Ug. I can hear the animal activist scream in the back of my head. It's not a big enough deal to diss the movie but enough to mention.
My summary: A perfect action fantasy for tweens, where young Abigail Breslin captures your heart along with your imagination.