Thursday, February 22, 2007

Movie Review: "Bridge to Terabithia"

Karen and I took the kids to see Bridge to Terabithia last weekend. I thought it was just wonderful -- I even cried during the movie, which is not exactly a common occurrence for me (the last time a movie made me cry was Hotel Rwanda, though obviously they're slightly different movies). First of all, any movie that stars kids is always a crapshoot, because good child actors don't exactly grow on trees. But I thought Josh Hutcherson and AnnaSophia Robb were outstanding. It was a movie that required genuine emotions, not your typical kitschy kiddie movie, and they both delivered.

The plot was engaging and I thought it managed just the right amount of obviousness (is that a word?) in the symbolic links between the make-believe Terabithia and the real world. In other words, and I don't think it ruins the movie for people who haven't seen it yet to say this, the kids make up their own world to help them deal with the problems they face in the real world, and the movie shows this in a way that is obvious enough for kids to understand but not so obvious that it thumps them over the head with it.

Obviously this is not the "feel good movie of the year!", since Karen and I spent a good portion of the movie crying, but that's also what made it so good -- it's a movie that doesn't shy away from tragic events yet is accessible to kids.

Very highly recommended, even for adults to see by themselves.

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