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MOVIE REVIEW: 'Nim's Island'

Category: Nim's Island Reviews
Article Date: April 4, 2008 | Publication: McClatchy Newspapers | Author: CATHY FRISINGER

Posted by: stagewomanjen

Walking out of a screening of "Nim's Island," I couldn't help wondering just why Jodie Foster chose to appear in this movie.

A family-fare adventure comedy, "Nim's Island" stars Abigail Breslin as an 11-year-old girl who lives on a small South Pacific island with her father and a covey of animal friends. It's clear why Breslin wanted to appear in this movie. Lead roles for 11-year-olds don't come along every day, and Breslin's Nim Rusoe is a kind of girl version of Robinson Crusoe - confident, resourceful and at ease with nature.

And it's easy to understand why Gerard Butler chose to play the double role of Nim's father Jack Rusoe and fictional character Alex Rover. Butler made a splash in "300," but the Scottish actor is new to the screen and not in a position to be turning down roles that give him a lot of screen time - even roles in children's movies.

But why did Foster, an actress who can be choosy about her roles, elect to play a comic role in a children's story that alternates awkwardly between over-earnest and silly? Foster plays Alexandra Rover, the agoraphobic author of a highly successful series of books about a fearless adventurer. Alexandra, who cleans her hands with Purel every few minutes, attempts to rescue Nim when she discovers that the girl is living on her own, but it is Alexandra who is rescued, learning to dine in style on grubs and to be "the hero of her own story."

Alexandra's struggles are moderately amusing, but the other intended comic element of the movie, a cruise ship full of fat passengers, is painfully unfunny.

Still, the movie moves along at a fast pace, and families with girls, particularly girls who have an affinity for animals, might feel an affinity for "Nim's Island."

2 stars (out of 5)


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