‘Nim’s Island’ winning family story

Category: Nim's Island Reviews | Posted by: stagewomanjen
Article Date: April 8, 2008 | Publication: KC Community News | Author: Keith Cohen
Publication/Article Link:http://www.kccommunitynews.com/articles/2008/04/08/wednesday_sun/entertainment/doc47fba2c03f1ca125446510.txt

This fantasy adventure follows the winning formula established by “The Wonderful World of Disney.” An 11-year-old girl with the unusual name of Nim Rusoe (cute and spunky Abigail Breslin from “Little Miss Sunshine”) lives with her widowed marine biologist father Jack (handsome Gerard Butler from “300” and “P.S. I Love You”) in a solar-powered tree-hut home on a remote tropical island in the South Asiatic Sea.

Nim is island-schooled and constantly exploring her natural surroundings. She runs through the forest, shimmies up palm trees and climbs up the rocky surface to the top of a dormant volcano. Her main companions are a sea lion, a pelican and a bearded dragon lizard.

She is an avid reader. Her favorite novels are about the daring exploits of Alex Butler (Butler also, as imagined in Nim’s mind to mirror the appearance of her real-life heroic dad), an Indiana Jones-type adventure seeker. When Jack is lost at sea during a violent storm, Nim exchanges e-mails pleading for help with the author who created her fictitious hero.

It turns out the writer is a woman named Alexandra (Jodie Foster). She lives in a San Francisco apartment and suffers from the fear of open spaces. She lives a solitary existence and talks to her alter ego male creation.

Will she have the guts to travel halfway around the world to rescue this little girl who is all alone?

This endearing movie gets under your skin and turns you into a fan of these likeable characters. It gets better as it goes along, building to a crescendo. Your investment of time pays off with a rewarding and uplifting jackpot ending.

The movie’s main message is to overcome your fears and find the courage to “be the hero of your own life story.”

The versatile Foster displays her agility and adeptness in mastering physical comedy. She makes you laugh at her pratfalls and bouts of motion sickness. This relieves the building tension and nail-biting suspense.

Breslin proves she is a rising star among the younger generation of actresses. Youngsters will be able to identify with her optimism and curiosity.

The beautiful scenery, rousing inspirational musical score and awesome special effects add to the enjoyment. The screenplay is based on the children’s novel by Australian Wendy Orr.

This heartwarming adventure brings back memories of “The Swiss Family Robinson” and “Robinson Crusoe.” Moms and daughters will especially get a kick out of the girl power on display. Dads and brothers will want to tag along and experience this family-oriented film.

Three stars