Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Nim's Island (2008) Film Review

Plot Summary - Abigail Breslin stars as Nim, an eleven-year old who lives on an isolated South Pacific island with just her dad, a successful marine biologist who wants no one in the world to know where their secret island is located. Despite their isolation, Nim runs about the island as happy as a clam and spends loads of time keeping up with her favorite writer's latest Alex Rover adventure story. One day dad takes off on his small boat for a solo two-day "expedition", leaving the extremely self-reliant Nim to fend alone. Well - not exactly alone, see, Nim has a number of island "pals" to play with, including a rather smart sea lion, lizard that rides on her shoulder, sea turtle, and pelican. A huge monsoon hits that night leaving dad alive, but his boat in very poor shape (luckily he has Nim's pelican friend to help out). Meanwhile Nim's dad gets an email from, of all things, Alex Rover (Jodie Foster), who needs help with her newest adventure story. Nim thinks Alex Rover is a real adventurer - and a man. After a few emails Alex realizes that Nim is a child - and alone on the island, her dad has not returned. So - Alex sets out to reach the island herself, a pretty harrowing trip it turns out, and here's the rub - Alex is hardly the adventurer sort, since she's a recluse with a bad case of agoraphobia who never leaves her house (she also seems to have a germ phobia). And meanwhile Nim is forced to single-handedly protect the island from an invading tour company that has brought a bunch of tourists there for a sort of "island adventure".

Review - This is an entertaining family adventure that went by fast - the island scenery looked pretty, the orchestral score is nice, the house they live in is interesting. I really like Abigail Breslin - she's certainly a child star with a lot of star quality. Jodie Foster is good, though her character is so hyper and nervous, it got on my nerves a bit. Part of the story involves her having conversations with the character from her books - a real Indiana Jones sort of fellow with a Scottish accent. One small complaint - the animals in this were just a bit too Disney cute (yeah, they sort of "talk" sometimes) and smart (that's got to be the smartest pelican in the world!) to be completely realistic - but that part of the story would be good for kids, so I really can't complain since this is a family film. One thing I wonder about - one of the reason's Nim asks Alex to come to the island to help her is this extremely bad gash she has just gotten on her leg, but when Alex gets there, it's never mentioned. Hmmm. Rating - 7 stars

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