DVD: Nim's Island (U)
Category: Nim's Island Reviews | Posted by: stagewomanjen
Article Date: August 18, 2008 | Publication: Manchester Evening News | Author: Editor
NIM (Breslin) lives on a lush South Pacific island with her scientist father Jack (Butler), who studies plankton while the youngster amuses herself with animal chums Selkie the sea lion, Galileo the pelican and Fred the bearded dragon.
When Jack is lost at sea during a monsoon, Nim sends an email SOS to her favourite writer, Alex Rover.
Little does Nim know that Alex is actually Alexandra (Foster), a recluse who lives in San Francisco, far from the tropical locations she writes about with such verve.
Despite her all-consuming fear of the outside world, Alexandra is moved by Nim's plight and she follows the girl's co-ordinates - 20 degrees south, 162 degrees west - to help the tyke locate Jack.
Nim's Island is a fun and frothy girl's own adventure that defies expectations. Jennifer Flackett and Marc Levin's film is more interested in journeys - literal and emotional - than destinations, focusing on characters as they repel invading tourists or muster the determination to simply step outside their front door, albeit with some resistance.
Breslin doesn't strike a single false emotional note, finding a pleasing balance between gentle humour (interactions with her larger than life animal chums) and the inevitable tears as the prospect of solitude weighs heavily on her heroine's shoulders.
Foster is hilarious, playing an agoraphobic, compulsive obsessive who almost hyperventilates when she runs out of antiseptic hand wash.
Vital lessons about courage ("It's not just in you, it's in every choice you make") are a little heavy-handed and some of the soul-searching is cloying but younger viewers especially, will lap up Nim's gung-ho exploits.