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Magical mystery tale

Category: Nim's Island Reviews
Article Date: March 30, 2008 | Publication: Sunday Telegraph (Australia) | Author: BEN MCEACHEN
Source: Sunday Telegraph (Australia)

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NIM'S ISLAND

Universal

96 minutes (PG)

FOUR STARS

Bravo, Mark Levin and Jennifer Flackett! Not only are you a married couple able to work together, but you've brought to the screen exactly what you set out to: an enchanting, family-friendly adventure with a young heroine. Now that is novel.

Shot last year at Queensland's Movie World and on Hinchinbrook Island, Nim's Island isn't just for the little ladies, either.

Sea-lion flatulence, slingshot lizards and volcano danger should tide over most boys hanging out for the upcoming Indiana Jones 4, Iron Man and Speed Racer.

It doesn't aspire to be ``big'' like other superhero movies, but Nim's Island may be the only adventure film this year that the whole family can comfortably experience together. Respect.

More grown-up but still appealingly childish, Little Miss Sunshine (sorry, Abigail Breslin) is just right as Nim.

She's a self-reliant youngster who loves living on a remote island with her marine biologist dad, Jack (Gerard Butler), and her animal pals.

When Jack gets stranded at sea, a twist of fate brings Nim together with the neurotic Alexandra (Jodie Foster).

They must draw courage from their fictional hero, Alex Rover (Butler again), and find strength in each other to confront the island's mysteries and secrets.

With much of Nim's Island being the tale of three lost, searching souls, full credit must go to the lead trio

for maintaining our interest.

Butler doesn't get to do too much as Jack, apart from contort his mouth around a generic US accent, but his Scottish brogue works nicely when he embodies Alex Rover.

Butler and Foster are great together, yet the film is all about Foster and Breslin.

Despite a late shift to mawkish moments and a finale some will find too tidy, Nim's Island is a beautiful little thing.

A scriptwriting team for many years, directors Flackett and Levin get the balance of fantasy and reality spot on.

Magical realism is what they aimed for, and it's a case of mission accomplished.

Opens April 10

 


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