Nim's nice but dim
Category: Nim's Island Reviews | Posted by: stagewomanjen
Article Date: September 11, 2008 | Publication: Get Wokingham | Author: Anna Roberts
It is a testimony to Abigail Breslin’s career that – at the age of 11 – she was handpicked to play the eponymous heroine in Nim’s Island.
Abigail was loved as Olive in Little Miss Sunshine and rightly so. In Definitely Maybe she stole the show from more-established actors including Ryan Reynolds, Isla Fisher and Rachel Weisz.
Nim’s Island, the tale of a magical land controlled by a young girl’s imagination, is her first film outing where she plays the lead.
Nim lives on the isolated Pacific island with her brainy dad Jack (Gerard Butler).
After Jack goes missing in a violent storm while looking for sea plankton 11-year-old Nim is distraught.
She uses the internet to contact her favourite author for help, Alex Rover, a male explorer and strikes up an email correspondence.
But young Nim is let down when she learns Alex is actually Alexander (Jodie Foster) and nothing like the hero in her books.
Instead of living in the wild and adventuring out, she actually lives in San Francisco and is an agoraphobic.
This is when it gets a bit weird.
Author Alexandra speaks to her literary creation Alex (also played by Butler).
Explorer Alex – who of course does not really exists – encourages his creator Alexandra to come out of her shell and help Nim find her dad.
Together the duo must learn about one another and find strength in each other to conquer Nim’s land and find her dad.
It is nice to see a film encourage children to read books and youngsters will love the images of animals racing across the screen, fuelled by Nim’s imagination.
However, there are awkward segments in the film too. Nim’s ‘encounter’ with a boy from Brisbane, Australia, is inept and pointless.
Breslin is a star in the making. She is sweet, endearing and cute – a far cry from the blond and bimbo-ish images of many other young actors.
However, she is not at her best in Nim’s Island. This is probably a fault of the film, not her.
Meanwhile Jodie Foster has divided opinions. Some critics claim it is her worst performance yet – and she is normally great. Others, contradicting this, suggest she saves the film.
There are good things in Nim’s Island. It is an unusual tale, it is nice to see a talented young girl take centre stage and there are lovely sequences.
However, it is also confused and – at points – a little bit dull.